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Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in TellMeWhy |

How Is Paper Recycled?

How Is Paper Recycled?

Recycled paper is new paper made from old newspaper. Old newspaper is first shredded into little pieces. Then it is put into chemicals that clean it and turn it into a soggy mush, called pulp. Pumps spray the pulp on a moving screen in the paper-making machine.

The water in the pulp drains through the screen, leaving an even mat of paper fibers. Rollers press the mat into a flat sheet of paper. When it is dry, it is fresh, clean paper–thus, recycled paper.

Since most paper is made from trees, recycling old paper is one way to save many of our trees. Recycling one ton of paper saves roughly 17 trees. It has been estimated that recycling half the world’s paper would avoid the harvesting of 20 million acres (81,000 km²) of forestland.

Is dirty paper recyclable? Once soiled, the paper cannot be recycled because the paper fibers are not able to separate from the oils during the pulping process. Food is a major source of contamination in paper recycling. However, you can place paper towels and napkins in the compost bin on campus.

Can scraps of paper be recycled? If the scraps of paper are very small, it can be difficult for them to be sorted out at the recycling sorting plant. And, small scraps can get caught in cans and jars. For the most part that is not an issue because of the way those materials are collected, sorted and sent through the recycling process

Content for this question contributed by Tonya Davies, resident of Elmwood Place, Hamilton County, Ohio, USA