The Process of Recycling Paper

Ever wonder what happens with your paper once its removed from the curb? The process of recycling paper is really rather interesting and is surprisingly not overly complicated. Once the paper arrives at the paper recycling plant, it begins a relatively short process toward creating new paper products.

Recycled paper products are easily identified by the recycling symbols on their packages or at times even embossed on themselves. Recycling paper is also great for the environment, as it both cuts down on natural resources needed to create more paper, and cuts down the disposal of waste paper. Recycled paper is just as high quality as regular paper and similarly priced.

The process begins by adding water to the paper and mixing the water and paper with a machine. This process is called pulping and is done with the intention of breaking the paper down into very small fibrous pieces. Once this is done the mixture is screened to remove any large pieces. The entire solution is then spun to help separate the heavier more dense pieces from the small pieces that are used in the process. The next step to recycling paper is a process where air is run through the liquid mixture. Foam is created from this process, and it causes ink to collect in the foam, leaves what remains much cleaner.

At this point, again more water is added. This process is called washing, and it is similar to the beginning process, except there is no machine to mix it. Once the washing is through there is the option of bleaching, which is done if what paper is to be created. What is left after this is made directly into paper the way paper is traditionally made when not recycled. The water used in the prior processes is also reused. Air is passed through this water to create foam and draw out ink again. What is left over and unusable for the purpose of paper making is not unusable altogether however. A hole is dug, and the remains, called sludge, are buried and burned to create energy for the recycling plant.

Recycling paper is a process that attempts to not only recycle the paper, but also the byproducts of the process itself. It is both an intriguing process and a great way to help the environment. Paper recycling plants are located locally to most towns, and in many areas curbside recycling is available as well. Many businesses also have developed programs aimed at recycling paper. When communities come together to do what is right for the environment, everyone benefits!