When it comes to recycling your paper and cardboard waste, all paper is the same, right? Not so much. In fact, there are several waste paper categories.
So, what does that mean for you and I when we're deciding how to dispose of paper waste?
Let's be honest. For most of us, paper is paper is paper.
In other words, we understand that newsprint and copier paper is essentially made out of the same stuff as paper napkins and cardboard, right?
Well, yes and no.
Fiber, which are small pieces of thread-like material that are woven together to give structure and strength to paper products, is used in papermaking. Fiber comes primarily from wood and recovered paper.
And, as one industry authority puts it,
Over the centuries, paper has been made from a wide variety of materials — wood pulp, rice, water plants, cotton, even old clothes! But no matter what you use to make paper — you need “fiber.” Today’s paper fiber comes mainly from three sources — byproducts from the sawmilling process, pulpwood logs and recycled paper products.
So, at their core, all paper products - newsprint, corrugated cardboard, copier paper, and so on - is made with the same essential material: paper fiber.
But the production processes and additional materials used can vary from one type to another. And this matters when we consider recycling and recovered paper waste.
According to the Paper Recycling Coalition, the term "recovered paper" refers to:
Paper and paper byproducts that have known recycling potential, and that have been removed or diverted from solid waste, or that have never been discarded as solid waste and are intended for sale, use, reuse, or recycling.
And why is that important to know? Because, when it comes to recycling paper waste, "recovered paper" is the term used by the recycling industry to determine what can and cannot be recycled.
It also matters because these recovered paper types are categorized by "recovered paper grades" which are classifications of different types of recovered paper, and each one has its own value to manufacturers. While there are dozens of specific grades, they can be grouped into four categories:
And the recycling process and potential for these different categories, or grades, of recovered paper are different, as well.
For those in the recovery and recycling industry, zero waste is a grand goal. But some might say it is also an unrealistic one or certainly not achievable with current technology and processes.
Part of the problem is that despite the fact that up to 70 to 80 percent of all solid waste can be recycled, it is not always feasible nor cost-effective to do so. The other problem is the remaining 20 to 30 percent that cannot be recycled.
And this is even true for "recovered paper" and most waste paper that is never recovered.
In fact, one prescient online platform offers a list of 11 types of paper waste that cannot be recycled. Here is a brief summary:
While that still leaves plenty of paper waste to be shipped off into the "recovered paper" route, it does leave the rest of us with a bit of a dilemma, namely, how do we get rid of the "non-recyclable" stuff?
Too many of us live and work with waste disposal services that utilize single-stream recycling processes.
The Balance SB describes it this way,
Single-stream recycling is a system in which recyclables of all kinds (including plastics, paper, metal, and glass) are placed in a single curbside bin by consumers. The recyclables are then collected and transported to a material recovery facility (MRF) where they are sorted and processed.
The biggest problem with this approach is that it decreases the quality of recovered materials . By putting all the materials into a single bin, the likelihood of contamination is increased due to the broken glass, food waste, and the non-approved material that invariable ends up in recycling bins.
The good news is that these processes are changing, improving, and being integrated into new technologies that will help reduce the downsides and produce many new "upsides."
For most homes and many small offices, recycling waste doesn't take up that much room in their residential or commercial recycling bins.
But sometimes it does.
There can be many occasions when the piles and stacks and bags of paper waste, broken-down cardboard boxes, or bundles of newsprint or magazines can be overwhelming. It may be because of an annual "spring cleaning" project that results in huge quantities of junk, including "recovered paper" waste.
On the other hand, it may be due to something more exciting like the aftermath of a relocation or the unpacking of new workstation furniture and equipment. These events can leave you with big stacks of cardboard and bundles of packing paper.
Not to mention the two or three dozen extra manuals and instruction sheets you don't need!
In fact, it's not unusual for a family of four to use enough cardboard moving boxes in a move that the flattened stacks of empty boxes can fill a small rental dumpster!
At this point, unless you have a truck and know where to take recovered paper waste for proper processing and recycling, what you really need is the services of a green junk removal company.
Which is why Junk King specializes in paper waste removal and paper recycling!
At Junk King, we have always strongly believed in recycling since our founding in 2005, and are committed to recycling at least 60 percent of everything we pick up from every job.
And, when it comes to large quantities of paper and cardboard waste, we can make your large recycling needs easy for you. Which is why we invite you to partner with Junk King to ensure that as much of everything we toss out can be properly disposed of and recycled when possible.
There is a truly simple and efficient bulk recycling solution: make the call to Junk King.
Junk King provides professional junk hauling services to remove all types of junk including bulk paper waste and paperboard or cardboard debris.
We'll even take your excess trash and garbage.
We even have the equipment and resources to haul stacks of newsprint, office paper waste, large boxes and other cardboard waste materials down your stairways, up from your basement, or out of your garage or warehouse.
And no matter what else your junk consists of (except hazardous waste) Junk King can help you get rid of it.
We provide an eco-friendly junk removal service to help you get rid of any large quantities of cardboard and paper waste, as well as other unwanted junk, large trash items, and even old appliances.
Our professional and insured appliance disposal team will show up at your home or office; we call 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive on site and we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your junk takes up in our truck. You just point and we'll haul your unwanted items into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.
You can make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).