A Superhero Needed: Cardboard Recycling
Cardboard Recycling …….Have you ever dreamed of becoming a superhero and saving the world? Now, here is your chance. Cardboard recycling will make you the superhero; you always wanted to be. You don’t need a cape or any superpower for this task. All you need is some cardboard and the will to save the planet Earth.
Just imagine the amount of cardboard that you waste in a day at your home or your workplace? Cardboard is used for many purposes throughout the world, in households as well as in many industries. However, once this cardboard served its purpose, they are tossed away as solid waste and become a significant environmental pollutant.
This helps to reduce the impact of this pollutant and saves the environment, thus keeps the world. So, here’s your guide on how to become a superhero. Here’s all you need to know about cardboard recycling.
What is Cardboard Recycling?
Reuse and reprocessing of used cardboard is known as cardboard recycling. It is true that not all cardboard can be recycled. But the majority of cardboards are made of recyclable materials. Some are 100% recyclable, and most of the cardboards have 70% to 90% average recyclability.
Importance of Cardboard Recycling
If you are wondering about why cardboard recycling is that much important, here is why.
- It helps to reduce pollution and make our environment clean and green.
- Cardboard waste is a significant source of landfill or solid waste. Therefore, cardboard recycling actively contributes to preventing soil pollution.
- Since cardboard is manufactured using the wood pulp of trees, production of new cardboard products require cutting down of many trees. If these trees are not replaced in time, this may lead to deforestation of massive scale. Therefore, cardboard recycling averts deforestation and makes the earth greener.
- Production of new cardboard instead of using recycled cardboard also causes adverse effects on the environment. The process of making the pulp from pine trees can lead to the formation of sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide is a toxic gas that can cause acid rains when it is released to the atmosphere. Thus, cardboard recycling helps to reduce air pollution as well.
- Cardboard recycling contributes to environmental conservation by preserving natural resources through the highest reuse of cardboard material instead of producing new cardboard products.
- It conserves both energy and resources.
- Cardboard recycling saves energy that is required for felling trees, transporting and making pulp from trees. Since the production cost and the transportation cost is also reduced, cardboard recycling conserves both energy and resources.
- It produces new job opportunities for local communities.
- Unemployment is a significant problem in current society. Therefore, if you consider cardboard recycling, that means you are facilitating the employment of some others.
How to Contribute to Cardboard Recycling
Cardboard recycling is achieved through some easy steps. You do not necessarily have to recycle cardboard yourself. All you have to do is to bring your cardboard waste to the nearest recycling centre. Here are the steps for you to follow when handing over your cardboard waste to your local recycling centre.
- Remove all food or other greasy material that is contained in the cardboard
- Remove all plastic wraps or tapes in or on the cardboard
- Break the cardboard into small pieces
- Deliver the carton to bins provided by the recycling centres or hand them over to their collection points.
By contributing to cardboard recycling by following these simple steps, you can easily save the world and be the superhero you always wanted to be.
The Process of Cardboard Recycling at Recycling Centers
However, you might wonder what happens to the cardboard that you gave for recycling. To fulfil your curiosity, here is how cardboard recycling is done in recycling centres.
- Collecting cardboard from collecting points
centers usually have designated collecting points where they collect cardboard waste for cardboard recycling. These collecting points include trash bins, scrap yards, stores, and industrial outlets that generate cardboard waste. At these collecting points, they carefully examine the cardboard waste and accept the materials that fulfil their expectations. Here, some cardboard may not be taken depending on the way they are manufactured and the purpose they are used. Sometimes, waxed or coated cardboards, as well as the cardboards that have been used for food packing are not accepted. The reason is the complex, specialised process that should be followed to recycle cardboard mentioned above types. However, the kind of cardboard that is received by each recycling company depends on their technical abilities.
- Sorting Cardboard
Once the collected cardboard reaches the recycling centre, they are sorted into two separate groups based on the material they are made of corrugated cardboard and boxboards. This is to make cardboard recycling process more comfortable. Corrugated cardboard is the cardboard that brown packing boxes are made of. They have that wavy inner layer between two flat cardboard sheets. Boxboards are that grey cardboard used to make shoeboxes and cereal boxes.
- The process of shredding and pulping
These separated cardboards are then broken into small pieces. This process is called tearing in cardboard recycling. These shredded pieces are then mixed with water and chemicals until a pulp is formed. Another sort of paste made from wood chips is blended with this pulp to aid the solidification of the flesh and to make it firmer.
- The Cleaning Process
In the fourth step of cardboard recycling, the substance formed in step 3 is filtered. This is to remove impurities and foreign materials such as glue, strings, and tape from the pulp. Then it goes into a chamber to go through a centrifuge-like process to make the flesh free from contaminants such as metal staples and plastic. In this situation, metal staples sink into the bottom and plastics float on the top.
The next step is removing all kinds of ink and dye from the pulp. This process is called the de-inking process or the cleaning process of cardboard recycling. In this process, the flesh is put into a floatation device containing chemicals that can remove any ink or dye, and cleaned well.
- Finishing of cardboard recycling
The pulp then enters the final stage of cardboard recycling. Here, the cleaned paste is mixed with new production material, and it is dried. Two processes do draining. First, the pulp is distributed on a flat conveyor belt and hot cylindrical surfaces.
Meanwhile, excess water in the pulp is pressed out by a machine. This vital process contributes to forming linerboards and mediums, which are solid sheet rolls. Then these linerboard sheets are glued together in layers forming new cardboard. In other cases, two linerboards are glued together as an outer covering with a medium with given ridges inside to form boxboard.
Cardboard Recycling as a Business
Now, if you want to be a full-time superhero by starting a cardboard recycling business, and earn some money while saving the earth, that is an option too. Here are some necessary steps you should be paying attention to when you start your cardboard recycling business.
- Find the right kind of cardboard.
As you know, some cardboard types cannot be recycled. These include:
- Cellulose fibre filled chipboard
- Fruit shipping boxed coated with wax
- ‘Wet strength’ chemical-coated cardboard
- Find possible cardboard collecting points.
- Glossary shops
- Schools and universities
- Large offices
- Industrial points
- Find the payments for cardboard supplying in your local recycling centres.
- Decide transportation modes considering gas cost, size of the vehicle, government policies and exclusive licenses.
Cardboard recycling is a necessity of the current world. Our planet is dying because of the massive scale environmental pollution done by the humankind. In such a situation, if we keep continuing to discharge cardboard waste disorderly and, to fell more and more trees for cardboard production, the day we face extinction on planet earth is not very far.
Therefore, let’s be the superheroes we always wanted. Let’s do at least one thing to save the planet. Let’s recycle cardboard.