Paper Recycling

Paper Recycling and Refining Process

How Does Paper Recycling Work?

Recycling paper hasn’t always been so popular. Historically, paper was first recycled in the United States on a larger scale around the time of World War I and then again in World War II. This was due to the need for materials and resources during the wars, some say. Now, paper recycling is one of the most common types of recycling in the U.S. One report states that roughly 75% of the United States’ paper and paperboard mills use recovered paper. Of that statistic, 40% of the mills rely entirely on recovered paper.

Many of the mills using recovered paper are found on the East and West Coasts. There is also a large presence in the South. Complete Recycling partners with mills across the United States for your recycling needs. We can even teach your business how to properly sort and even bale your paper products to increase its value. Once your paper materials are collected, they go through a detailed recovery process.

Paper Refining

The paper refining step in the paper recovery process focuses on decontaminating the material. Several types of equipment can be involved. And, which machinery is used depends on what the end product will be and many other factors. The idea behind the process is to eventually take out as much of the contaminates as possible. The general paper recycling process goes something like this:

  • One of the first steps involved is pulping. In order to pulp the paper, the machine chops paper and water is added to a pulper.
  • The next step is screening and involves a screen that rejects foreign or unwanted materials.
  • Cleaning is the next step. This involves centrifugal force to separate the more solid fibers from the rest. The unwanted material is then rejected.
  • Next is flotation or de-inking the paper pulp. This process involves the pulp slurry being mixed with a surfactant to collect and discard ink particles from the materials.
  • A common next step is washing. This further cleans the pulp by passing water through it. Sometimes the pulp is then bleached, but only if a white color is desired in the end product.
  • When the material is ready, the next step is to create a “new” paper product using the refined pulp. This process is often called “upcycling.” The term applies to other materials as well, not just paper products.
  • Next is what’s called dissolved air flotation, which is a process that cleans the water used for processing so it can be used again.
  • The byproducts of paper recycling can be used for several things. One way is to burn it for energy at the paper mill.

Learn more about how recycling paper can benefit the environment and your company’s bottom line. Contact Complete Recycling today to discover our Green recycling programs.

Contact Us:

Complete Recycling
3160 Camino Del Rio South
Suite 301
San Diego, CA 92108

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