The method most commonly used for paper waste recycling consists in its use as a raw material for new paper production. Paper is first mixed in a large vessel with water and other additives to form thin slurry and made free of foreign bodies, such as paper clips and staples, envelope windows, etc. The slurry is then distributed onto a moving continuous screen (“wire cloth”), where water drains from the slurry and a thin layer of (wet) paper sheet is formed. The sheet is then compressed and dried. The process of drying is very important, as the paper stock contains about 99 % of water, when applied onto the wire cloth. Paper raw material can be recycled seven times in average, as paper fibre length is reduced in each process of recycling. However, in certain cases paper waste can be recycled as many as twenty times.

Other options for the reuse of paper waste include the production of thermal insulation and building material fillers, energy generation or even the production of compost and biogas.

You might be interested...

Show Gallery

Myths about recycling

Questions and answers