How and When to Recycle Magazines and Old Paper

By Alex Mardikian

Recycling books and magazines is a good idea. Reusing these is an even better one. Do you know that each ton of recycled paper can save up to 3 cubic yards of space in landfill, 380 gallons of oil and save 17 trees from being cut down? It also saves 4000kilowatt of power and 7000 gallons of water. Since we obtain only a third of a paper pulp from recycled materials, the remaining has to be obtained from cutting down trees. Clearly, there is a lot of scope for recycling paper.

Books and magazines are categorized under mixed paper. Mixed paper is an important component for the different types of papers that find their way to paper mills for recycling. Magazines can easily be submitted to curbside recycling programs without removing the staples, the cover, and binding. Of course, if the magazine is still in a plastic bag you should remove the plastic bag because it is meant to be recycled separately. With respect to books, you can pretty much submit the book as it is unless it is a hardcover edition. For such books, the covers must be separated because they often contain materials other than paper.

Do remember that paper that has aged and become yellow or has become wet does not have a market in the recycling industry, and you will have to throw it away.

In a paper mill, paper is separated into different grades and then placed in pulpers where it is broken down into fibers. Adhesives are washed away and then the fibers are rolled and dried. Recycled paper is used for making coffee filters, egg cartons, and paper towels.


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