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The Paper Recycling Process, South Australia
The greatest environmental concern today is global warming due to increased destruction of forest cover as well as emission of greenhouse gases. In a bid to protect the forest cover, paper recycling in South Australia uses this effective paper recycling process.
Paper recycling can be defined as the process of turning used or waste paper into new paper products. Three categories of waste paper can be recycled and include pre-consumer waste, post-consumer waste and mill broke. This ensures that all kinds of paper wastes are eliminated from the environment. Paper recycling in Adelaide has helped keep the environment clean by reusing any paper that has gone to waste.
The Paper Recycling Process
Three major steps are involved in the process of recycling waste paper. Here is how it is done:
Step 1: Collection
There are established paper collection centers, which are usually managed by recovered paper merchants. These may be owned by the particular company that mills the paper or private merchants selling their services to milling companies.
Nowadays, regular waste management companies have also delved into collecting paper waste. Paper to be recycled is usually collected separately from the other wastes to ease the process of sorting. By far the easiest to handle are old magazines, old newspapers and used paper that comes from commercial and industrial source. This is because they are the easiest to collect, are the cleanest and the most cost-effective to collect.
Step 2: Pulping
As opposed to producing paper from the virgin timber or wood, collected waste paper needs to be sorted into grades and cleaned before they can be use to make new paper. Not all paper is of the same type, quality or grade. They vary widely. Therefore, the collected paper has to be sorted out into grades.
The sorting and grading is usually done at the collection centers before the paper is delivered to the mills. In this process, the waste paper is mixed with chemicals and water that breaks it down. Further breakdown through heating and chopping produces cellulose strands. The resulting mixture is known as slurry or pulp.
The pulp or slurry is then strained through screens or filtered to remove all non- organic materials or contaminants such as plastic, staples, glassware, glue and other adhesive. The resulting pure pulp is now ready to progress to the next step.
Step 3: De-inking
Since waste paper is derived from numerous sources, they contain a lot of ink that must be removed. The process of de-inking was invented by a German jurist called Justus Claproth. It involves removal of printing ink from the fibers of the recycled paper to produce what is known as deinked pulp or slurry.
To remove the ink air is blown into the mixture in a floatation process. The ink attaches to the air bubbles and rises to the surface where they can then be removed or separated with ease.
This step uses a lot of water as well as bleaching agent, which in most cases is hydrogen peroxide. It is done progressively until ice white pulp is produced. This actually depends on the intended use of the paper, as some uses may not require the bleaching or whitening step.