"The popular image of what constitutes recycling--
separating one's garbage into various categories, leaving it neatly
sorted at curbside, and seeing it carted off by industrious sanitation
workers--does not really reconstitute recycling at all. It constitutes
sorting and collecting . Recycling has not occurred until the loop is
closed: that is, until someone buys (or gets paid to take) the sorted
materials, manufactures them into something else, and sells that
something back to the public."
Recycled paper is "new paper made entirely or in part
from old paper...Mills put old paper back into the pulping process and
blend it with virgin pulp. Old paper that mills recycle into new paper
comes from two sources: post-consumer waste and pre-consumer waste ."
Post-consumer waste is paper that has been printed.
"Post-consumer waste is paper, paperboard, and other fibrous wastes
from homes and businesses. These...include...used corrugated boxes, old
newspapers and magazines, discarded copy paper, and other fibrous
wastes that...are collected from municipal solid waste."
Pre-consumer waste is paper that has not been printed.
"Pre-consumer waste is dry paper and paperboard waste generated after
completion of the papermaking process. This includes envelope cuttings,
bindery trimmings, rejected stock, butt rolls, and obsolete inventories
of paper manufacturers, dealers, converters, and printers.
"(P)ost-consumer waste makes up most of the paper waste
that goes into landfills...Because the demand for recycled paper is
driven by landfill considerations, post-consumer paper waste is
considered by many consumers to be the only legitimate type of material
that should count toward 'recycled' content."