How Paper Is Recycled
The Town collects several different types of paper for recycling: Newspaper, magazines, junk mail, writing paper, chipboard, and corrugated cardboard. The paper also goes to a Materials Recovery Facility. Here the paper is hand sorted into three commodities: cardboard, newspaper and high grade (office) paper piles. At the MRF, the loose paper is put into a machine which makes the paper into a bale. A bale is a big rectangle of compressed paper with bands around it to keep it together; sort of like a bale of hay. By baling the paper you can fit more into a truck, and that makes transporting it easier and cheaper.
The bales get trucked to various paper mills. At the mill, the paper gets unbaled and shredded in to little pieces. Then water is added. It is washed and mashed into pulp. This pulp is thick and mushy and looks like oatmeal. The pulp gets pressed and rolled into thin sheets and dried. High grade paper can be made into new office paper, newspaper, tissues, paper towel and cereal boxes. Old newspaper can be made into new newspaper, tissues, paper towels and cereal boxes.
Fun Fact: Did you know that newspaper is made from trees. For every four foot high pile of newspaper that you recycle, you save one tree.