What Happens to All of That Recycled Office Paper?

As more and more businesses see the value in going green, paper recycling programs are springing up across the nation and paper recycling in Florida is more popular than ever. So you might wonder, “Where is all of that recycled paper actually going? Does the copy paper or cardboard I recycle in Florida today, become the office paper I write on tomorrow?” Actually most of it does not.

Companies such as Miami Waste Paper collect large volume recyclable paper and cardboard materials and sell it as raw material mostly to tissue mills, boxboard mills, and overseas paper manufacturers.

Ron Novas with Miami Waste Paper says the reason most recycled office paper finds new life as something other than copy paper is the ink that is printed on most office waste. Deinking of Xerox and other office papers is an expensive process and it is never 100% successful.

Why it won’t come back as office paper
Also, office paper waste is a mixture of a variety of paper types including envelopes, bound reports and any number of other documents that contain inks and glues that with contaminants. This makes it difficult to recycle them into printable office paper for laser printers, copy machines, etc. However such contamination and ink problems cause less of an issue when being used to make tissue paper, newsprint paper, packaging, or to be used by overseas mills.

Still, this should not be taken as a reason not to recycle office waste in Florida or anywhere else. On the contrary say the experts at Miami Waste Paper. Every day, new technologies are being introduced to make the deinking process more efficient.

The future
There will very soon come a time when recycled office paper will play a much greater role in the manufacture of fine paper products. Already, there is much more recycled material in white papers and laser print papers. And all of the top names in office paper continue to add more recycled office papers to their product lines.

Until then, recycling office paper continues to be a great idea for any company or business, no matter where the post-consumer paper ends up being reused. Making any kind of paper with post-consumer recycled office paper decreases greenhouse gas emissions, which can lead to positive global climate change. It’s more efficient to use recycled paper in the manufacturing process, so the paper mill burns less fossil fuels, reducing its carbon footprint. And of course, office paper recycling saves trees and reduces deforestation.