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What’s the Current State of Paper Recycling -Some Stats!


According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2018, the paper recycling rate in the United States was 68.2%. This means that about two-thirds of all paper products consumed in the U.S. were recycled. Additionally, recycling one ton of paper can save around 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity. These statistics highlight the environmental benefits of paper recycling and the importance of recycling paper to conserve resources and reduce waste.

Why is Recycling Paper so Important?

Have you ever wondered why recycling old paper is important? Why is it necessary to put the right recyclable materials in the right bins? These are questions that not many people think to ask themselves. However, working with paperless solutions makes you acutely aware of these things that few stop to think about. So, let’s explore the importance of going paper-free and recycling.


What’s the Process of Recycling Paper?

When we put paper in the recycling bins, it goes through a series of processes. Firstly, the sorting process begins. The recycle bins are emptied into trucks and taken to a mechanical plant where the materials are sorted. It is crucial to sort the materials accurately to avoid damaging the machines that recycle them. Paper goes with paper, plastic in the plastic bin. Putting the wrong items in the recycling bins can be potentially dangerous and creates extra work for those sorting the materials. So, it’s important to educate others and be mindful of what we put in the bins.


Many Sorting Processes take Place In Order to Recycle Paper

After the initial sorting, the second stage begins. The papers are separated into different groups by size using a machine called a “Trummel.” Then, a device is used to remove any contamination from the paper stream, such as plastic and wood. This device detects the contamination and uses compressed air to remove it from the line. Next, a large magnet is used to remove ferrous metals from the paper trail. Finally, an Eddie current separator is used to separate aluminum cans from the paper line.

In the last stage of sorting, the papers are manually sorted to make them cleaner. Plastics and metals that the machines might have missed are removed. The sorted materials are then taken to paper mills for reprocessing.

The reprocessed paper is used in many homes and offices, such as printing paper and cardboard boxes. Recycling paper helps to conserve natural resources, reduce energy consumption, and minimize waste in landfills. According to recycling statistics, recycling one ton of paper can save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, and 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.

So, the next time you recycle paper, remember that you are making a positive impact on the environment.

SignTech is an innovative paperless platform that creates forms and documents for full completion, signing, and integration. For more information, visit or email

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