The state of recycling in general is in turmoil right now, especially for plastic. But what about paper recycling? Is that still a viable option?
Individually and collectively, Americans go through huge amounts of paper of every type. Ever wonder what happens to it all after we toss it out?
Thinking About Paper Use In the U.S.
We've gotten quite good in this country at placing different types of recyclable waste in their proper containers. Glass, plastic, aluminum and paper - we all know the drill. Even our children have been raised in a culture that is in tune with recycling as a way of life.
But we still consume huge amounts of glass, plastic, aluminum and... paper.
Lot's of paper.
How much paper, you might wonder? Well, here's a clever infographic that does a great job of illustrating just that:
[infographic courtesy of esker.com]
According to other sources, such as thebalancesmb. com, over 68 million tons of paper and paperboard products are recovered annually in the U.S. for a recycling rate of 64.7 percent. In addition, 36 percent of the paper and paperboard recovered in the U.S. in 2017 went to produce containerboard, the material used for corrugated boxes, and 12 percent was used for boxboard, which includes basestock for folding boxes and gypsum wallboard facings.
By weight, paper makes up more than a third of all the recyclable materials collected in the U.S., which came out to nearly 45 million tons in 2010. For example, about 33 percent of the waste packaging material recovered for recycling is paper. This is more than the combined total of glass, metal, and plastic waste recycled.
The best news of all, perhaps, is that only about 22 million tons of paper went into landfills in 2017, down from 36 million tons ten years earlier. That means we succeeded in recycling three times more paper than what ended up in landfills.
Diamonds Are Forever - But Not Paper
Over one-third of new paper product is produced with recycled paper fiber. Another third with fiber that comes from whole trees and plants, and the final third being residue from sawmills.
Unfortunately, waste paper cannot be recycled indefinitely.
The reality of paper is that, with every recycling, paper fibers become shorter. After being processed somewhere between five to seven times, the fibers become too short for the production of new paper, requiring the addition of new fibers.
According to paper mill company Domtar,
"The wear and tear caused by the various recycling processes — collection, deinking, remanufacturing — lowers the yields of each successive round of recycling.
And some paper products simply cannot be recycled. For example, soiled bathroom tissue and greasy food containers are not recyclable for obvious sanitary reasons. Other paper-based products such as drywall and pet bedding, cannot be reused. In addition, long-use products such as books, official documents and photos are kept out of the recycling stream for decades."
However, every ton of recycled paper products generated reduces the need for production of new, or virgin, paper.
Over time, this means less trees being used, less wood product waste being landfilled or incinerated, and more hybrid paper goods being produced and used.
So, the bottom line when it comes to paper recycling is to keep it up!
And this is true even for large quantities of (clean) paper products such as those reams of old papers being tossed out from schools and offices, cardboard boxes, and magazines. If you have more waste paper stockpiled somewhere in your house, office or workplace, you can call Junk King for professional pick up and removal.
Your Personal Waste Removal Experts
Junk King hauls just about every kind of item except for hazardous waste, so you can call us for waste removal for large trash items such as stacks of empty boxes, waste paper products, and just about anything else you need hauled away.
We also put great emphasis on providing eco-friendly junk removal services. This means that recyclable materials from paper trash to metal to electronics and plastic will be safely and responsibly disposed of at recycling facilities. We also work with local organizations to donate usable items like clothes and furniture.
Whether you're cleaning your home after many years of accumulating junk, or getting ready for an office move, we can provide you with the resources you need to do the job. With our competent and well-trained team, you can be assured that every item that can and should be recycled is taken care of in a fully eco-friendly manner.
Our knowledgeable and friendly crew can do the heavy lifting for you, or you can choose from our fleet of MINI Dumpsters if you prefer to do that part yourself.
Either way, our professional and insured trash and junk removal team will call 15 minutes before we show up at your shop or office and we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your items take up in our truck or our MINI Dumpster. And with no hidden fees.
Ready to get rid of that junk? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
You can make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).