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Bins, recycling and rubbish

Paper and card waste journey

Find out what happens to the paper and card you separate for recycling.

Paper and card collected in East Renfrewshire is a valuable resource. Because we separate it from other materials such as plastics and metals, there is a low level of contamination from other waste types. This means it can be recycled and returned to useful life as books, magazines, writing and printing paper and quality packaging materials.

The paper and card that you place into your blue bin, is transported to the council's transfer station at Greenhags, Newton Mearns. Here, it is bulked for onward transport to Lowmac Alloys, in Irvine. Here the paper and card is sorted by grade and bulked and/or baled and taken to paper mills in England, including Palm Paper Ltd. in King's Lynn, Norfolk.

The paper making process

Recycled papers are fed into a large chamber and mixed with water and chemicals to break it down into a pulp. It is chopped up and heated, and fed through screens to remove metals like paper clips or staples as well as glues or plastics that might still be in the mix.

At this stage some virgin material such as wood chip, needs to be added.  This is because paper fibres can only be recycled 4-6 times (as the fibres get shorter and weaker each time) and the virgin material strengthens the pulp.

It is then de-inked and bleached if required, and fed onto a conveyor belt where the water is removed from the pulp. The paper is then fed through heated rollers and wound into large spools and is ready to be used!

Did you know that recycled paper uses around 40% less energy than paper from virgin materials, and every tonne of paper recycled saves around 17 mature trees.

For more information on paper recycling, and a helpful video on the process, visit:

The Don't let Devon go to Waste campaign also produced this video:




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