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Life cycle of recovered paper

Recycling has become part and parcel of German life. People now throw paper into the recycling bin as a matter of course. Currently, roughly 74% of all paper is recycled. In comparison, only 50% was recycled in 1992.

Processing recovered paper to turn it into quality recycled finished paper is one of the economic and material cycles which actually works in practice. Using recycled paper has great potential in cutting down the amount of water and energy we use. Hence the cycle is a role model for sustainable development – all the more so given the rapid global increase in human population, the increasing demand for paper in industrial countries and emerging countries, and the destruction of the rainforests.


Demand is currently increasing for waste management technology, modern sorting facilities and energy-saving recycling solutions. Due to the global consumption of natural resources, the economy has a vital need for innovative production methods in order to safeguard planning and production.

Hence it makes economic and environmental sense – and also makes more efficient use of resources – to use long-lasting, reusable and recyclable products, to use waste materials as potential raw materials, and to create energy-saving closed loop cycles for recycling in which as little material as possible is lost or left over. We focus on waste management and recycling for recovered paper, and operate recovered treatment plants.

Sorting facility for recovered paper

Our completely automated, multi-level recovered paper sorting facility features a 60m long sorting line. Here, recovered paper which has been collected from domestic households is sorted according to various types. Foreign materials are identified automatically by the sorting line during the process, and removed in several stages from the material flow.

Any paper which does not conform to the pre-defined material flow (the quality standard to be achieved by the end of the sorting process) is siphoned out (negative sorting) and stored in one of several bunkers. From here, the various quality grades pass along conveyor belts to a horizontal baler.

During the multi-level sorting process, machines automatically separate large pieces of cardboard (coarse screen) from small pieces (fine screen), and graphic paper from non-graphic paper (PaperSpike). The quality of printed and coloured paper is detected via optical infrared sensors and extracted from the material flow by means of compressed air.

During the entire sorting process, the material flow has to be rectified and adjusted repeatedly so that it is conveyed through the various machines at the appropriate speed. The entire plant operates automatically via sensors, level sensors and flexible motors.

We also use a number of additional processes to sort all other recovered paper according to quality. Depending on the requirements of the paper mill where it is to be recycled, this is then compressed into bales or delivered in bulk.