The final stage in paper recycling is when the pulp from the paper mill is ready for use in the manufacture of new paper. The pulp is usually blended with virgin wood fibers in order to give the paper an extra smoothness and strength. The recycled paper fibers may be used by themselves. The paper pulp is then mixed with hot water and chemicals. The proportion of hot water in this mixture is much higher than the percentage of paper fibers and chemicals.
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The mixture is fed into a papermaking machine’s headbox and sprayed on a large, wire mesh-like screen using a continuous jet. This moves very quickly through the machine. The mixture begins to drain and the recycled paper fibers start to bond together to form a watery sheet. The paper moves quickly through a series felt-cover press-rollers, which squeeze more water out. This creates a new sheet of paper.
There are many business opportunities in paper recycling
The recycling industry is well-established, but paper recycling is expensive. For companies that recycle other materials, paper recycling can be an excellent extension of their services. There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs to provide services like collection, transportation and sorting.
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Recyclers used to only remove a particular recyclable material from customers, like scrap metal or pallets. But service-oriented recyclers offer to remove other recyclable materials as well. As part of dock sweep programs where multiple recyclable materials are removed from the same location on one truck, old corrugated cardboard is being collected more often. Customers find such programs attractive because they can remove materials quickly and not wait for a full load.
Paper Recycling Legislation
Each state has its own requirements regarding recycling paper in the United States. New Jersey, Rhode Island and Wisconsin have all passed laws that require all grades of paper to be recycled. California has a requirement that newspapers be recycled by businesses. In Connecticut, all waste generators must recycle magazines, newspapers, and white and colored office papers. Virginia, South Dakota and Maine have adopted paper recycling targets.
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Associations for Paper Recycling Industry
These are some things that companies might consider when considering joining a paper recycling group:
The American Forest & Paper Association: AF&PA, the national trade association for the forest product industry, represents all paper-based product producers in the country. It promotes sustainable U.S. forests products on the international market. The AF&PA member companies produce approximately 75% of the paper-based products in America.
Independent Waste Paper Processors Association: Founded in 1975, IWPPA serves as the trade association for UK companies involved in the paper products industry. There are 80 members of the association, with an average annual turnover of over PS2 billion. The association’s members produce more than 2 million tons of recycled material.
The Confederation of Paper Industries: CPI is a trade association that represents UK paper-based product manufacturers and recyclers. It has over 70 members. CPI member companies have a combined annual turnover of PS6.5 trillion.
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European Recovered Paper Association: ERPA (European Recovered Paper Association) is a European trade organization that represents different European paper federations. ERPA is made up of paper recovery and recycling organizations from Belgium, France and Germany, Hungary and Spain, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.