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The Process of Paper Recycling

Some environmentally conscious individuals may wonder how the process of paper recycling works. This material has many uses and it can be reused a number of times. Following is a brief outline of how the paper recycling process works.

The consumer discards various paper products, sending them to the nearest recycling center. The waste is made into new paper products through a system of steps.

There are different types of paper so some of the details differ in the process. However, the fundamental strategy is the same for each type. The three types of paper include:

• Pre-consumer waste – This form of paper was never used.
• Post-consumer waste – This form was used by an individual. Some refer to this type as scrap paper.
• Mill broke – Is simply scrap left over in the production of paper. This material can easily be reused in a paper mill. It is not recycled at a paper recycling facility.

The paper recycling process begins with water. Pulping is the act of adding water to the material in order to separate its strands. The fibers left behind are called pulp.

The pulp is put on a screen that works like a colander. Larger particles are left behind in the process. After the pulp is screened, it is cleaned through a process called centrifugal cleaning.

A machine spins the pulp rapidly. This makes any other contaminants left behind during the screening process to separate from the mixture.

Many paper products have ink in them. Deinking involves putting air bubbles into the pulp along with a chemical. The chemical separates the ink from the pulp and the bubbles force the ink to the surface.

The machine kneads the pulp. Next, the mixture is washed with water to remove any remaining containments. The pulp may or may not be bleached in the paper recycling process.

The pulp is the prime ingredient in the new paper created. The new product is white if the paper recycling process included a bleaching stage. Otherwise, it has some dull color to it.

The final steps in the process of paper recycling involve cleaning the workspace. The water that was used to remove the ink and other containments can be filtered for reuse. Some of the water can not be used again and has to be discarded.

Paper recycling is a simple process that yields great results. Consumers who take time in making sure that their paper products are free of containments help to make the process run smoother. It only takes a few minutes to recycle paper products. It is well worth the effort.


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