Secure Professional Shredding Services for Manhattan, New York City, Long Island, Westchester and New Jersey
18 June 2018

What Happens To The Shredded Paper?

paper recycling

What happens after a professional document destruction company shreds your files? You’ve hired a shredding service to destroy your confidential records because it is secure and convenient, but if you’ve never thought about it before, you may wonder; what happens with your destroyed files when the company leaves?

Your Shredded Documents Are Recycled!

What does that mean?  What it means is a good thing.  Your papers are not going into a landfill, but rather they are being used to help the environment by being recycled and used to make other paper products.  Just one ton of shredded paper will save 17 trees.  Now think about how much shredding is performed in the United States each year. It truly is an amazing number of trees that get saved.

Here is How the Paper Recycling Works

The shredded paper is sent to the recycling company.   At the recycling facility, the paper is separated by type and grade, and then it is sent into a machine that compresses the paper into bails so it can be easily transported to paper mills for processing.

At the paper mill, the bails are off-loaded.  The first step of processing the paper is to place the paper inside a pulper which is a big vat where it is chopped into pieces and then water is added. The mixture of paper and water is heated to break down the paper into paper fibers.

Once the paper is turned into pulp it goes through a screening process to remove items such as staples, paper clips, rubber bands and tape.  The pulp is cleaned. Larger pulp fibers are separated into smaller fibers, and any remaining non-paper bulk materials are removed.

The pulp has to be clean so a de-inking process is used to remove printing ink and sticky materials such as glue residue and adhesives.  Two processes are used to accomplish this:

Washing – Is the process of rinsing the pulp with water to remove ink.

Flotation– Is the process of using air bubbles and a detergent additive to remove larger particles and sticky materials. The detergent additive helps to force the remaining ink and sticky materials to the top of the vat so it is easier to remove from the clean pulp.

The removed residue from the pulp during the deinking process can be used for a variety of things such as burning to create energy, composting or it can be used to make concrete and gravel for road construction.

The next step is to refine the pulp.  Refining plays a decisive role in developing the fiber properties of furnish and the final paper properties such as strength. During the refining process, the pulp is repeatedly compressed to gradually de-laminate the fiber cell wall, increasing flexibility and fibrillation of the fiber surfaces.  If the paper pulp contains any dyes, color-stripping chemicals are added to remove them.  For example if white paper is needed, the paper pulp may be bleached with hydrogen peroxide, chlorine dioxide, or oxygen to make it white and to brighten it.

The final step: the pulp is made into new paper. The pulp can be used alone or virgin wood fiber can be added to the pulp to give the paper extra strength or smoothness. The watery pulp is sprayed onto quickly moving screens, where water drains and the recycled fibers bond together into sheets.

Press rollers squeeze more water out of the sheets and heated metal rollers dry the paper sheets.

The paper sheet is wound into giant rolls and removed from the paper making machine. A single roll of this paper can weigh a number of tons.  The paper rolls are then shipped to manufacturing plants where they will be used to make new paper products.

We hope you found this information interesting.

Time Shred Services is a local onsite shredding service that provides document destruction to the businesses and residents located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Queens, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester and New Jersey.

For more information give us a call or visit our website.

 

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