Creating A Proper Paper Waste Disposal Process With Waste Control

Creating A Proper Paper Waste Disposal Process With Waste Control

In Waste Management, Waste Management Plan by David FahrionLeave a Comment

Paper waste disposal has become a crucial concern in today’s society, taking into account the abundant use of paper on an annual basis. Paper and paper product consumption has gone up by 400% since the 1970s. This surge in paper usage means that 35% of trees logged are used for paper production. This is damaging to the environment and also serves as a stark reminder that resources are depleting at a rapid rate.

Another noteworthy point in the discussion of paper waste is the potential for recycling. Experts assert that more than half of the waste can be recycled and turned into new products, further emphasizing the importance of efficient paper waste disposal techniques. 

This article will delve into the matter of paper waste disposal, exploring comprehensive methods of managing and converting paper waste. We will give you the Waste Control perspective on paper waste disposal and how you can set one up for your business just as easily.

Methods of Paper Waste Disposal

Typically, paper waste in a business consists of these items

  • Office paper (e.g., white printer paper, note paper)
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Cardboard and corrugated boxes
  • Envelopes and mail
  • Paper cups and plates
  • Tissue and paper towels
  • Shredded documents

Most of these items can be recycled only if they are not contaminated. Paper waste disposal involves collecting paper that is discarded as waste from your industry or commercial establishment and then ensuring that it is properly prepared for recycling. You could also choose to compost some of your paper waste in case recycling is not an option or if you want to produce organic manure that can be later used. 

The recycling process primarily converts waste paper into reusable material, thereby helping preserve natural resources. EPA suggests that recycling one ton of paper can save over 7,000 gallons of water, seventeen trees, three cubic yards of landfill space, two barrels of oil, and four thousand kilowatt-hours of electricity. This proves how efficient recycling can contribute significantly to environmental conservation whilst bolstering energy conservation efforts.

Recycling paper, despite its high recovery rate, faces challenges such as contamination from non-paper items like plastics and metals, which degrade the quality of recycled paper. Contamination can be mitigated through public education on proper waste sorting and the use of advanced sorting technologies. Additionally, the recycling process is resource-intensive, requiring significant energy and costs for collection, sorting, and reprocessing. Modern recycling technologies and governmental incentives have improved efficiency and reduced expenses. 

Another hurdle is ink removal from paper, which affects the aesthetics and quality of recycled products. Innovations in de-inking processes, including flotation and wash de-inking, offer more effective solutions for ink removal. Addressing these challenges through technology and public awareness can enhance recycling rates and the quality of recycled paper.

Composting, on the other hand, is an organic method of paper waste disposal. Paper-based waste is composed of carbon, making it an ideal ingredient for composting. This process includes biodegradation of the paper waste by microbes, which in turn produces compost that is highly nutritious for plants. Composting is an excellent method, contributing to the reduction of waste going into landfills and providing nutrient-rich soil for gardening and farming applications.

Benefits of Proper Paper Waste Disposal

Proper paper waste disposal mitigates the adverse effects of waste on our environment. The objective of a proper waste disposal process is to promote recycling of paper waste at high volumes. Paper and paper products are one of the most recycled items in the USA with a recycling rate of 67.9%.

Reducing Landfill Use

One of the most immediate benefits of proper paper waste disposal is reducing the burden on our landfills. Landfills are quickly filling up due to the large volumes of waste we produce every day. By recycling and reusing paper waste, we can substantially decrease the volume of waste sent to landfills daily.

Preserving Trees and Forests

Producing new paper from trees is a resource-intensive process. By contrast, recycling effectively reuses already harvested trees, thus reducing the need for continuously cutting down our forests. The preservation of trees has a cascading positive environmental impact, from maintaining biodiversity to stabilizing climate and conserving water.

Water and Energy Conservation

The production of fresh paper from raw wood requires large amounts of water and energy. The recycling process uses 28% to 70% less energy and less water than the traditional papermaking process. Moreover, recycled paper usually requires fewer chemicals for whitening and processing, thus lessening the risk of water pollution.

Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Decomposing paper in landfills emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes significantly to global warming. Recycling paper helps to mitigate these emissions. Additionally, the energy saved by recycling helps to decrease overall carbon dioxide emissions, as it reduces the demand for energy production in power plants.

Decreasing Wastewater Production

The production of new paper from trees significantly impacts the quality of our water. Wood pulping processes release a significant amount of organic material into freshwater sources, causing serious water pollution. Recycling paper generates far less wastewater and reduces the pollution load on our water bodies.

Now that we have a good sense of how paper waste recycling can really move the needle in terms of sustainability, let us talk about how you can establish an efficient paper waste disposal process for your business. 

Establishing a Paper Waste Disposal Process

Here’s a detailed guide for businesses to establish a robust paper waste disposal process:

Know your Paper Waste

The first step in establishing a paper waste disposal process is understanding your paper waste. This involves identifying the types and volumes of paper waste generated by the business. Common sources include office paper, newspapers, magazines, cardboard, and packaging materials. Understanding the waste stream allows businesses to pinpoint opportunities for reducing waste at the source and improving recycling rates. A waste audit can help in this regard. Waste Control helps organizations conduct thorough waste audits that can uncover more insights about your current state of waste generation. 

Implement Source Reduction Practices

Source reduction, or waste prevention, is the most effective way to minimize paper waste. Businesses can adopt digital workflows and communication methods to reduce the reliance on paper. Encouraging double-sided printing, reusing paper when possible, and optimizing document formatting to use less paper are practical steps that can significantly reduce paper consumption.

Waste Control’s approach is consultative, where we delve into the process and help you identify strategies that can reduce your paper waste, helping you deal with less waste overall. 

Set Up Recycling Stations

Creating accessible and well-marked recycling stations throughout the workplace is essential for encouraging recycling behaviors among employees. Stations should be conveniently located near printers, copiers, and common areas to make recycling a straightforward practice. Clearly label bins to distinguish between different types of recyclable materials, ensuring that paper waste is separated correctly.

Educate and Engage Employees

Employee participation is crucial for the success of any paper waste disposal program. Waste Control’s experts will help you develop training sessions to educate employees about the importance of paper recycling and the specific practices your business is adopting. Engaging them through regular communication, feedback, and incentives for active participation in recycling efforts are also critical in a successful waste disposal project. 

Collaborate with a Recycling Service

Partnering with a professional recycling service that can handle your business’s paper waste is a critical component of the disposal process. These services can provide regular pickups and process large volumes of paper waste efficiently. Waste Control’s managed service takes away your burden of finding recycling partners and managing pickups.

Monitor, Review, and Improve

Regularly monitor the effectiveness of your paper waste disposal process and review the amount of paper recycled and reduced. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and make adjustments to your program. Continuous improvement will help your business move towards zero waste goals and further reduce the amount of paper waste going to landfills.

Waste Control’s holistic approach ensures that your paper waste management program achieves the results that you want. By consolidating your billing and impacting areas like awareness and waste reduction, you can manage your waste disposal costs better, and with less processes involved. 


The intricate relationship of humans with paper makes its waste management vital for our environment and future generations. Paper waste disposal, if not properly addressed, can exacerbate landfill problems, deplete our natural resources, and contribute to pollution and climate change.

Innovative approaches to paper waste management across different industries have shown promising results. Industries are embracing technology to drive efficient recycling, while there is a lot of focus on digital transformation to curb paper consumption. 

Paper waste is one of the most recycled waste items globally. The benefits of paper waste recycling are clear as day too. There is really no excuse if your business is still producing paper waste that is ultimately ending up in landfills.

Waste control’s expertise can help you set up a proper paper waste disposal process that saves you money and also ensures that the paper waste you generate is being recycled. By reducing the number of independent waste management services you have to liaise with and consulting you on paper waste reduction strategies, we can help you overhaul your waste management strategy. Consult our experts today!