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As paper is recycled, it is broken down,
mixed into a pulpy soup and bleached.
Why does it have to be bleached? because
it was printed on.
Look at your average printed paper.. what
percentage of actual paper is printed on?
What percentage of every bit of the paper
has been touched by
ink? On average, I
would say, not even over 50%, and I think
that's being generous.
Why not cut out these parts only? It is the
equivalent of taking a whole puncher and
punching out all the places on the paper
that ink has touched.
The benefits of this of course are obvious:
The removal for a full-strength bleaching
bath at the recycling plant. Maybe a little
bleach is needed for general whitening but
no where near the required amount for
just paper with all it's printed ink. Also,
with paper punched and not shreaded, it
would be more difficult to reconstitute a
shreaded piece of paper. It would not be
strips, or those little diamond paper
pieces, it would be hole-punch sized
pieces of paper. It would increase security
because the pieces of paper have very
little reference to where they belong in the
Now, how is this thing to be built? the
technology is already here, it's been here
for a while. Scanners have the necessary
scanning capability to see where the ink is
on the paper. A paper would be inserted
into a the device much like it is inserted
into a regular document shreader. It is
scanned while simultaneously, a small
computer tells a row of actuated punches
when to punch, according to when the
scanner sees non-white.
Being able to have batches of pure white
paper ready to be recycled would save
recyclers' money, which makes recycled
paper cheaper, which encourages
recycling. It reduces the amount of
bleaching needed, which is better for the
environment (haven't really looked into
how bleaching would affect the
environment, but I assume it is not a
The hurdles of this idea are how to handle
multiple sheets of paper, as well as the
problem with staples, implying multiple
sheets of paper. It seemed possible that a
machine would be able to separate stacks
of paper much like how a printer does, but
I was thinking of having all the sheets of
paper to be recycled, stacked and then the
machine would cut off all the corners, and
with it, the staples. You would give up a
couple corner's worth of paper to be
recycled but would simplify the machine.
A possible solution would be to build this
thing as a larger machine, meant to be
used in recycling plants. It would have all
the necessary components to remove
staples, separate paper from stackes and
process paper at a very fast rate. I'm sure
that if they were going to save more
money by eliminating another process,
they would have no problem.
Environmentally, it is better.
Economically, it takes a step away, but
adds another (maybe), but depending on
how much each process costs, in supplies,
time, labor, all associated costs, it could
save them money immediately.
Of course, it costs more [Ling, Jun 09 2007]
||WHAT! A bone with no comment? That
was a slap in my face.
||It looks like from the link, this idea
would also eliminate some use of
thiosulfate as well as chlorine.
||Do I care that Thiosulfate renders
chlorine inert, yeah, a little, but not too
much. It only means that now, you'd be
extracting less thiosulfate and less
chlorine from our earth.
||Are sulfates inert in themselves or do
they harm? I know there's low-sulfur
diesel now, does that mean sulfer is a
||bun for unfair negative-vote-sans-comment, and because it is highly inefficient and that makes me giggle.
||what's inefficient about it?
||// A bone with no comment? That was a slap in my face. //
||Experience suggests that it wasn't a slap in your face, but the result of someone (who might wish to remain anonymous, but is sometimes known as the 'autoboner') using a negative vote as part of their unorthodox view-filtering mechanism. Wasn't me, by the way - my point is just, "Don't take it personally".
||Better, I think, to cut up the paper into small squares, then drop the squares from a conveyor into a slot, with banks of scanners observing the falling paper front and back. Seeing a contaminated square, a jet of air blows it away from the slot.
||If you pulped the paper completely back up you'd probably be able to separate out the ink using a centrifuge. By weight, the ratio of ink to paper is probably less than 1%, after all, none of that ink bleeds on to the back of the paper... usually.
||You could go and cut everything up into
smaller squares, but cutting everything up
like that, in my opinion, would degrade the
quality of it, by generally shortening the
overall fiber length of the paper/pulp.
||I just got an image in my mind. Little pape
cutouts of croissants falling into a bin by
the millions. Back to reality. This idea is
about replacing a chemical process with a
||Erm, what should be done with the millions of little black cut-outs?
||What else? Use it to make black
construction paper! Or a shade of grey?
||Ah, of course, black newspapers with white ink!
||Construction paper, dope. Not newspaper.
If it is biodegradable non-toxic ink. Use it
as cellulose insulation.