Paper and cardboard recycling: the waste management process

Written by BINGO INDUSTRIES Published on 9th November 2016

Paper and cardboard have endless abilities to be transformed when correctly recycled. In a bid to preserve our environment, reprocessing these materials into new products allows for saving of trees, water and landfill space; while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumed in the mechanical production of new paper and cardboard goods.

Bingo Bins is committed to ensuring waste disposal is aligned with efficient practices, especially for businesses and schools. As an exclusive partner of Planet Ark and member of Green Building Council Australia, we aim to engage in sustainable recycling efforts, with the environment at the forefront of our priority list.

Surely we are all aware of the many benefits of recycling paper and cardboard effectively, but how many know the detailed process it takes to transform these recycled goods into new products?

To narrow it down for you, we’ve broken it down into the simple, yet complex, steps:

What happens to recycled waste after you dispose of it?

1. The Pick Up and Drop Off

The first step in this process happens right after a special Bingo Bins truck collects waste, once placed in the correct bin. At Bingo Bins, we offer customised paper and cardboard waste management services- whether daily, weekly or monthly. The frequency is dependent on the management plan you have engaged with Bingo. To make the process even more efficient, especially for high turnover industries such as educational faculties and corporate offices, we do allow for regular service-schedules; or alternatively for smaller scale waste producers, on-call services.

We have numerous facilities around New South Wales. Each of our recycling centres is fitted with advanced machinery and state-of-the-art equipment. This ensures we are fully-equipped to take on large capacities. Efficiency is the one common denominator in all our transfer facilities.
Once a Bingo truck has entered the facility, its contents is unloaded then placed on a conveyor belt. The fun part then begins!

What happens on a conveyor belt?

Recyclables travel along a conveyor belt through a trommel. A trommel is a large barrel-like machine which has holes along the side to allow for larger materials to pass through. Lightweight materials are transported through to the end. This includes paper and cardboard. The sorting then takes place.

2. The Sorting and Separating in Waste Centres

Trained Bingo staff then begin with the sorting process. To provide a more efficient and accurate approach, manual handling is the first step. In this process materials that may be contaminated are removed. This process also involves manual sorting. We pride ourselves on certification regarding Quality Management System, Environment Management System and Occupational Health and Safety Management System which is we carefully handle each process- with the safety of our staff and end receivers as a key priority.

Materials generally sorted include:

  • Glass
  • Steel
  • Plastic
  • Cardboard
  • Paper


What happens to other goods after the separating?

Paper and Cardboard:
Cardboard: Boxboard vs. Corrugated
Generally, these are the two types of cardboard.
Boxboard refers to non-coated types of cardboard such as cereal boxes, which are also generally thinner. Corrugated on the other hand, refers to larger, thicker packing boxes, such as those used to transport goods.
A liquid mixture is used to soak sorted cardboard. This creates “pulp.” Pulp is a soft, shapeless mass. When combined with new pulp, the mixture helps solidify the contents.
Grading Paper: Categorising based on grades
Paper is divided by grade. The grade of paper depends on its fibre length. The grade lowers the more times material has been recycled. A local newspaper is low grade as it must have recycled numerous times.
Unlike cardboard, the first step following the categorization of paper is shredding. The contents is then mixed with a liquid substance. This substance is comprised of water and certain non-hazardous chemicals. The mixture is heated to break down into fibres. De-inking takes place following this breakdown. This ensures the paper mixture is cleaned. When the fibres being to start bonding and the paper begins to dry, it is then suitable to turn into new products.

3.The Waste Centre Transfer and Aftermath:

Paper and cardboard waste is transferred to another facility. At these facilities, they are turned into new products.
Baling must take place before this process however.
Baling involves the materials being bundled together into a tightly compressed form. Sometimes, we can even bale these resources in as small as a quarter of their original space.

Everyday Recyclables
We use many recycled products in our everyday lives. Some of these may include:
Magazines –> Newspaper
Newspaper –> Egg cartons
Mixed Paper –> Paper tower rolls
Corrugated Cardboard –> Paper bags

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