Office Paper Removal for Composting

Ecological issues are very much to the forefront of most people’s minds regarding recycling, composting, reducing carbon emissions and making use of sustainable materials. Even though e-mails are rapidly forcing the art of letter writing on paper into extinction, there is still a huge amount of paper being used in offices where forms and circulars are an everyday occurrence. Every office has an automatic shredding machine to destroy pages of information before having it removed to a recycling centre or landfill site. Many people are unaware that composting is another alternative for a great deal of waste generated in various industries and offices.

Paper Recycling

Paper is a natural product made primarily from the wood pulp of felled trees but it can also be manufactured from other materials such as rice or cotton. There are fifty-one different grades for the recycling of paper including number thirty-seven for unsorted office paper and number twenty-five for computer print paper. It takes a great deal of sorting to put the papers into the right batch. Could composting be a simpler, more cost effective alternative?

Paper Composting

As a natural material paper can be successfully composted. For decades gardeners and allotment owners have traditionally used organic waste mixed with layers of paper, particularly newsprint, at the bottom of shallow trenches to enrich the soil. Earthworms and microscopic organisms are adept at processing paper along with kitchen waste and garden debris to produce a soil with a fine, rich tilth. Composting paper helps to reduce the energy used in the recycling process. Critics would argue that it is little more than an alternative landfill site.

Composting is not Landfill

The debris in a typical landfill site includes a multitude of items such as plastics and metals that won’t decompose but they trap the biodegradeable materials which self-decay extremely slowly resulting in the production of harmful methane gas. Landfill sites deprive the buried debris of the oxygen, micro-organisms and sunlight that is necessary for successful composting. Any waste that is from a natural source such as wool, cotton and paper mixed with other organics such as vegetable peelings and twigs is suitable for composting.

Removal of Hazardous Waste

For a decade or two printing ink has undergone a transformation. Many are now made from cost effective biodegradeable water based dyes, reducing the need for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) that are found in petroleum based inks. When sent for composting environmentally-friendly ink is harmless. If you doubt that your office uses ecological green inks, investigate the availability of economic, environmentally-friendly replacements and suggest a change. Some waste disposal companies that concentrate on removing hazardous materials in a responsible, ecologic manner also offer a reliable composting service for the benefit of the environment. Waste is checked for its compliance with regulations and for how suitable it is for the composting process. For advice in determining whether your office paper is ideal for composting Oates Environmental will be only too happy to help.

Author: NAE

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