How Shredded Paper Is Recycled
Many of our customers ask us what happens to their documents after they are shredded. 100% of the paper we destroy is recycled.
How Do Recycling Shredded Documents Help The Environment?
Recycling paper after it is shredded saves both energy and resources. By recycling one ton of paper we save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, and 463 gallons of oil.
How is Paper Recycled?
After Time Shred Services destroys your documents they are taken to a recycling center where they are placed into a bailing machine to make large paper bricks so they can be transported to paper mills.
Once at the mill the bails are broken down and placed in large machines called pulpers. This mixes the paper with water and chemicals that are heated to break down the paper into pulp fibers. The mixture is pressed through a screen to remove adhesives and other remaining contaminants.
Next, the paper will be spun in a cone-shaped cylinder to clean it and remove the ink. At this point, the pulp is sent through a machine that sprays it onto a conveyor belt. Water will drip through the belt’s screen, and the paper fibers will start bonding together. Heated metal rollers will dry the paper, and the paper will be put onto large rolls, which can be made into new paper products.
There Are Different Grades of Paper
Newspaper or paper towels is lower grade paper because it has already been recycled numerous times, while printer paper or writing paper is higher grade paper. The grade of paper is determined by fiber length, which shortens after each recycling process.
After being recycled multiple times, the fibers become too short to make new paper and will need to be mixed with new fibers. As a general rule paper can be recycled seven times.
There Are Five Basic Paper Grades
1. Old Corrugated Containers – These are boxes and packaging.
2. Mixed Paper – This is a general category that refers to things like mail, catalogs, phone books, and magazines.
3. Newspapers – Paper mills use newspapers, to make more newsprint, tissue, toilet paper, and other products.
4. High-Grade Deinked Paper – This quality paper consists of things like envelopes, copy paper, and the letterhead that has gone through the printing process and had the ink removed.
5. Pulp Substitutes – This paper is usually discarded scraps from paper mills.
Staples & Paper Clips
The equipment at paper mills that recycle shredded paper is designed to remove things like staples and paper clips, so you don’t need to remove them before your documents are destroyed.
Sticky Notes: If your local recycling program accepts mixed paper, it will most likely accept sticky notes. Paper mills that process mixed paper are able to remove adhesives. To be on the safe side, check with your local program to make sure sticky notes aren’t a problem.
How Much Paper Do We Us In The United Stated?
In the United States, we use 680 pounds of paper per person per year. That is 85,000,000 tons of paper per year.
Call Time Shred Services today to securely destroy your documents and help the environment.