What Is Needed To Recycle Office Paper?

Office paper has long been recycled, and you can find paper recycling centres all over the Western world these days, including Australia. One of the most important things to do before office paper can actually be reprocessed is to collect it from offices in the first place. Although most people do not throw paper into wastage bins any longer and take the more responsible action of putting them into dedicated recycling bins, this is not always practical for sensitive documentation.

Therefore, companies which undertake paper recycling duties for offices need to provide secure document facilities, as well as normal recycling ones. This is because anywhere that handles potentially sensitive data on their documents need to handle them separately from general paper recycling. As such, a document destruction service needs to be offered before recycling can occur. In effect, this means that sensitive data documentation goes through an extra process. Before recycling, it needs to be shredded so that no one at the reprocessing plant can read what was on the paper. That said, once office paper has been sent for reprocessing what happens next? 

  • Sorting and Grading

When office paper has got to a reprocessing centre, it needs to be sorted. Effectively, this means making sure that paper is placed into its various grades. The lowest grades of paper have probably been recycled many times before and will go into low-end products, such as envelopes. Higher grades of paper can be turned into the pages of hardback books and writing stationery.

  • Cleaning

Whichever grade of paper is being processed, the next step is to wash it with soapy water. This is done in order to remove any ink or other marks that might be on it. In addition, glue and plastic film should be removed as part of this process. It usually floats to the top and is skimmed off. What is created at the end of the cleaning process is a wet mixture is known as a slurry.

  • New Paper

The slurry is then turned into new sheets of paper by special machines that press and dry it out. Sometimes, the reprocessing plant concerned will apply additives such as bleaching agents in order to make the paper look whiter. The new paper is rolled up in the form of very large sheets, like giant toilet rolls. In most cases, the rolls that have been produced at the reprocessing plant are then sent to paper manufacturers to turn into different products. Recycled paper is now the norm across much of the world which helps to prevent more and more trees from being cut down to create new paper pulp.