Paper Recycling

An In-depth Review of What Paper Recycling Entails

Paper plays an essential role in our lives. Right from creating books to being used as a material for packaging, it is hard to live in a world where there is no paper. However, this extensive use of paper has led to the generation of large volumes of solid waste, which is 40% paper. Moreover, over-dependent on paper as a resource leads to an exponential increase in our carbon footprint.

Environmentalists, therefore, stress the importance and relevance of paper recycling as a way of mitigating those issues. Consequently, technologies have evolved to facilitate the paper recycling process. The common types of paper that are eligible for recycling include newspaper, magazines, notebooks, old phone books, tissue, and stamps among many others.

The Paper Recycling Process

Paper recycling is the process of creating new and usable products from used and disregarded paper products commonly referred to as waste paper. It occurs in a series of operations including collection by Paper Recycling Services at AB Recycling.

Collection Process

The collection is the initial paper recycling process. Waste paper is usually collected in residential and commercial areas after which they are assembled in a transfer station. The collection process is operated by either the government (public) or by private individuals who obtain their tender from the public and solid waste management stakeholders. At the transfer station, the waste paper is sorted or graded into different quality levels based on the type and texture of the paper. Paper recyclers can then purchase these raw materials at a subsidized fee.

Pulping in Paper Recycling

Pulping is an industrial process that involves recovering of paper fibers from waste paper. The received paper from the transfer stations and collection centers is sorted, cleaned and cut to obtain good fiber. The non-fibrous matter such as plastics or metals that may exist is removed from the pulp. The pulp is then subjected to a series of cleaning, filtering and screening procedures to ensure that the end product is suitable for making fresh paper.


Since the raw material or waste paper is obtained from different sources, some paper usually contains ink. This has to be removed through a de-inking process to make the pulp whiter and purer. The pulp is dissolved in water to remove the impurities. After that, millers embark on the flotation process, which involves blowing air into the solution to separate ink from the mixture. Ink floats to the surface in bubble form, and the millers remove it physically.
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They then treat the remaining fiber with bleaching agents, mostly hydrogen peroxide or chlorine dioxide. This process produces pure fibers that can now be used to make different types of paper.

Through recycling process, the waste paper that was initially useless can be retrieved and reprocessed into a fresh raw material for the production of new paper products. Therefore it is possible to achieve sustainable cutting of trees, thanks to paper recycling.

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