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Paper represents the bulk of the readily recyclable material, by weight, in domestic refuse, newsprint and cardboard accounting for 20% of this total, the remainder comprising mixed quality grade papers, such as high quality computer printing or photocopy paper, plastic coated papers such as milk cartons, and magazines. An estimated 200000 tonnes of paper based products are discarded and landfilled annually.

Approximately 90% of these paper products would have been produced from 100% virgin wood pulp. Less than 1% is produced from totally recycled paper pulp, the remaining 9% being a mix of wood pulp and recycled paper.

Two tonnes of chipped hardwood is required to produce one tonne of wood pulp that is converted into paper. To produce one tonne of unbleached paper, between 80 and 100 gigajoules of energy are required, depending on the type of wood pulp that is used, and the required final quality of the paper. An additional three to 13 gigajoules of energy are consumed in the bleaching of paper. Producing paper from recycled paper pulp, rather than wood pulp, achieves around a 70% energy saving for bleached and non-bleached paper products alike.

Around 25% of the newspaper, cardboard and quality paper consumed annually in Western Australia is recycled, despite the fact that the fibre from the same piece of paper can be recycled five to 20 times, depending on the original quality of the fibre. In general terms, between $10 million and $13 million of paper is buried annually in landfill, and whilst representing a waste of approximately 24 petajoules of energy, it also represents the loss of around 450000 tonnes of woodchips per annum. Essentially, this means that millions of trees are buried each year in landfill.

Locally, newspaper is being utilised as an insulation fibre, additive to grass seeding processes, and as a substitute for wood in the form of paper logs (produced by Good Samaritan Industries). An export market for old newsprint collected in Western Australia does exist, with the company currently operating at less than 25% capacity.

Figure 4 is an energy consumption analysis for the production of bleached paper from primary and secondary resources. The energy requirement is based on:

Bleached paper production from wood Bleached paper production from recycled paper pulp

Bleached paper production from wood Bleached paper production from recycled paper pulp

1

Felling and chipping of trees

1

Recycling material collection door to door

2

Transport to wood pulper

2

Transport to sorting site

3

Grinding, pulping, bleaching

3

Sorting, baling, grinding, pulping, bleaching

4

Transport to paper manufacturer

4

Transport to paper manufacturer

5

Bleached paper production

5

Bleached paper production

6

Energy saved by recycling paper

Bleached paper production

Bleached paper production

1 2 3 4 S Energy MVfng TOTAL

Figure 4: Energy required to produce one tonne of bleached paper from wood and from recycled paper

1 2 3 4 S Energy MVfng TOTAL

Figure 4: Energy required to produce one tonne of bleached paper from wood and from recycled paper

Figure 5 is an energy consumption analysis for the production of non-bleached paper from wood and recycled paper.

Unbleached paper production from wood Unbleached paper production from recycled paper pulp

1 Recycling material collection door to door

2 Transport to sorting site

3 Sorting, baling, grinding, pulping

4 Transport to paper manufacturer

5 Unbleached paper production

6 Energy saved by recycling paper

1 Felling and chipping of trees

2 Transport to pulper

3 Sorting, grinding, pulping

4 Transport to paper manufacturer

5 Unbleached paper production

Unbleached paper production

■ Energy saving D Raw materials Q Recycled materials

Unbleached paper production

■ Energy saving D Raw materials Q Recycled materials

Energy saving TOTAL

Figure 5: Energy required to produce one tonne of unbleached paper from wood and from recycled paper

Energy saving TOTAL

Figure 5: Energy required to produce one tonne of unbleached paper from wood and from recycled paper

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