Collection and separation: Waste paper and cardboard are collected from the kerbside and put in large recycling containers with other paper and cardboard. It is then taken to a paper mill where it is separated into types and grades.
Shredding and Pulping: The separated paper is then shredded and mixed with water and chemicals to break down the paper fibres and create pulp, which is then passed through screens to remove larger contaminants. This is then mixed with new pulp to help it to solidify and form a firmer end product. The new pulp for cardboard contains wood chips to make it thicker.
Filtering: Clean paper pulp is then placed in a centrifugal spinning machine to separate more contaminants - plastics rise to the top while metals fall to the bottom.
De-inking: The pulp is de-inked by putting it into a flotation device with chemicals and air bubbles which take away any dyes or inks and improve whiteness. Hydrogen peroxide may be added to bleach the pulp.
- Finishing: Cleaned pulp is blended with new production materials and left to dry on a flat conveyor belt and heated cylindrical surfaces. It then passes through a machine that presses out excess water before passing through steam heated cylinders that allow the formation of flattened long rolls of paper. The paper sheets are then trimmed and rolled and sent to businesses. Cardboard undergoes the same process except the long rolls of cardboard are stuck together to make liner board, or have grooves cut in them by huge metal rollers to make corrugated cardboard, to which flat linerboards are added later.
Top 10 UK recycling destinations
Top world recycling destinations