The paper recycling-newspaper is the process that includes turning the wasted or used newspapers into the new paper products. Under this recycling process, used newspapers are mixed with chemicals and water, which facilitate the breakdown of components. The components of the waste newspapers are then cut into smaller pieces and heated. This process breaks down the chopped materials into cellulose mixture. The resulting mixture of the component is known as ‘pulp’. The other process that follows is known as de-inking. During this process, the pulp is passed through a special screen, which removes glue or even plastic that might be present in the mixture. Finally, the pulp is made into a new paper or product.
Rationale for Recycling Newspapers
The manufacturing of newspapers has effect on the environment, which is witnessed at the point of processing and various places of waste disposals.
Moreover, energy consumption can be reduced through recycling of newspapers. The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) ascertains that about 64 percent of energy reduction is realized when the newspapers are recycled (Williams 59). It has been ascertained that recycling of one ton of newspaper saves about 4,000 kWh of electricity during the process. This whole process of recycling newspaper to make pulp helps in reducing the consumption of electricity since more fossil fuel is utilized. This is a significant achievement made when the newspaper and other paper products are made from the recycled pulp. Such developments on the energy conservation have led to the establishments of some clean energy technologies. The process of recycling newspapers to make pulp also can make use of the solar energy technology. The following paragraphs highlight the importance of embracing solar energy, which is better than the use of electricity in the process of paper recycling, that is, newspapers.
The power of saving the environment is very practical when people just change their daily habits in doing certain activities. The environmental conservation is practiced in many ways. Some of the ways are well known to the people but some of them are hidden. Energy usage in our daily lives can compromise or promote environmental conservation. For instance, one cannot understand the importance of using renewable sources of energy like solar energy. There is extensive discussion and research about the use of solar energy and wind energy with the purpose of environment protection and energy saving (Jacob 23).
The lifestyle habit that most families in towns adopt can sometimes be very dangerous to the environment and even not economical at large. Using electricity at the paper plants and powering paper recycling methods means that energy is consumed. The purchase of the fuel to be utilized may take a lot of money at the end of the day. Burning this fuel on daily basis may not be environmental friendly and even not cost effective. In addition, electricity in powering electrical and electronic gadgets becomes more and more expensive with time. These require consistent energy use. Several recycling newspaper power plants may part with large bills at the end of a given period, hence, these counts to be a double loss. The question is how can one meet their needs without electricity? This becomes very tactful because without deep thinking, one may not see the relation between saving environment and energy conservation (Jacobson 1).
There are clean energy technologies that may help to reduce any kind of pollution. This is very useful in cases whereby the individuals abandon using fuel energy. Burning oil fuel plays a role in destruction of environment. The emission of carbon dioxide gas is harmful to the environment, hence, this may interfere with the economic status of the country (Hill 45). If every paper plant uses the paper recycling methods that are burning up the fuel and use electricity from fuel generators, then more energy will be consumed. In the cases of burning up fuel, there are high chances of large amounts of smoke emitted into the atmosphere. However, even though it looks harmless, it is very dangerous. The carbon dioxide when emitted without control will result into global warming one time in life. Therefore, people should find it easier to have self interest in saving the world from this mess (Hill 125).
Using renewable energy sources can prove to be very practical and this requires change in the lifestyle. Solar energy is important as one of the major sources of energy. This can be connected on the roofs of many recycling plants to tap power. Solar power does not require additional cost of maintenance for its operation. One of the most important issues facing the world today is the environmental conservation and the global warming. Many countries, such as the United States and Europe have to put in place conservation measures to uplift the fight against destruction of forests (Williams 62). This is because forests help in absorbing the carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere. Even though environment may not be given priority by some nations, the fact remains that it tops as one of the issues that must be tackled from the family to national level (Jacob 19).
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can absorb and emit radiations through thermal infrared ranges, and it primarily includes carbon dioxide (Hill 56). These gases affect the general temperature of the earth. The atmospheric lifetime of greenhouse gases has been approximate to take many years in the atmosphere. The period is about 30 to 95 years because it measures the time, which is required to restore the equilibrium from a sudden decrease or increase in the carbon dioxide emission. Research has shown that the rate of mileage differences varies depending on the type of the vehicle that emits carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (Williams 63). Large scale commercial paper recycling methods that burn diesel contribute more compared to the small scale paper recycling methods with short mileage. According to Mark Jacobson, a scientist, “any reduction in emission of fossil fuel may reduce global warming more than elimination of carbon dioxide for a give period of time” (Jacobson 1). The fact is that it is very good to prevent than to deal with the already formed gasses in the atmosphere (Hill 63).
Emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has direct harmful effect because according to the scientific study, the climate change also results into air pollution, which may lead to thousands of deaths annually. This is because there can be many cases of respiratory illness and people suffer more from asthma in the nation. Particular issue is that in the United States alone, according to Mark Jacobson who is a professor of environmental engineering, is that “there are about 20, 000 air pollution related deaths in every year worldwide” (Jacobson 1). This can be due to the greenhouse recycling plant effect developed because of lack of control to the carbon dioxide emission. In addition, the gas also increases mortality due to increase of ozone layer in the earth atmosphere. This means that many death cases may be experienced, even in the future, if no immediate measure is taken.
Prevention measures rest on the individual lifestyle, which has been discussed before. They include avoiding frequent usage of paper recycling methods that emit the gas and finding alternative measures like use of solar energy, instead of burning fuel in generators. Using solar energy enables self-energy independence for the individual (Jacob 25). Different electrical equipments are applicable and handy in using the solar energy. The electricity produced is free, incentives from governments are also attracted since the government supports this program to facilitate energy production program. In addition, there is no transmission cost for this type of solar energy because it is used where it is produced.
The major incentive available in the area that promotes this solar energy is the availability of direct sunlight with good intensity that could help in the solar energy production for the paper recycling plant. The mix in average hours for direct sunlight is described as ‘insolation’. The insolation reflects the irradiated density which is calculated majorly in kilowatt hours for any given square meter of the solar panel. There is variation in the density level of radiation, and the peak is at 1000 watts for a square meter. This radiation rate could be expected during the periods when there is high heat radiation from the sun. A solar recycling plant is necessary because it ensures effective use of solar energy. The concept reflects the accessibility through which the design of the recycling plant is made. The recycling plant that enable full harness of solar energy ensures that maximum energy is tapped into the solar system. This is the case in areas where the sun energy is available for most of the time. It is better to consider the surface area of the roof because the larger the surface area the more the solar power can be produced. Given that sunlight for one hour on a two meter square solar panel can provide enough power for use depending on the available machines and materials to be operated. This can be useful in approximating the required power and the energy usage at a given time. In order to consider electricity, the PV solar panels have radiant energy conversion at the rate of 20 percent or even less. It is advantageous because sunlight for three hours on a square meter panel would cost not more than $ 0.06 (Williams 67). This is less expensive as compared to the recycling plants connected to the national grid lines where one will have to pay higher utility bills.
The size of the solar system that can be able to provide sufficient power for the newspaper recycling process depends on the nature of the manufacturing plant, which is the recycling house. For example, “for an insulated recycling plant, there is need of about 1000 gallons of oil in one year” (Williams 67). There is need to convert the 1000 gallons of oil in terms of KWHs. If 1 gallon gives around 150,000 BTU of fuel energy, then 1000 gallons gives around 150,000,000 BTU. It is from this relation that the approximated power of 442000 KWH is required per year. The surface area needed to have this power output is about 29.5M2 of solar panel. In most cases, the commercial panels are available in two square meters size, the total number of solar panels required is about 15. Only 15 panels are enough to provide the required amount of energy in the recycling plant (Williams 72).
The connection together with sufficient number of commercial solar hot water tanks with a radiant heating system is able to cost about $100,000. It is cheaper to build personal solar system. It is relatively cheaper because it will only cost about $10,000. This proves it necessary to have this form of renewable energy. The maintenance cost is minimal because there will be no external charges pegged on the power usage. There could only be minor repairs for efficiency, thus the initial cost is the major budgetary target (Williams 71).
The sun has a lot of energy which varies from one place to another. This variation is based on the weather conditions. The best day one can get energy of 1.4KW/m2 in an hour form a solar panel. However, it is only possible to get 1KW/m2 in an hour with an atmosphere. In terms of heat generation, solar energy would give about 3400 BTU because this is equivalent to one hour. In three hours, 3KWH will give 10, 200 BTU. It is possible to approximate the fuel of this amount. One gallon of fuel gives 150,000 BTU. Therefore, the 10,200 BTU translates to 0.07 gallons of fuel oil. It is possible to know the cost of solar energy by relation of these figures. For instance, one gallon of fuel oil is sold at $2.00. Therefore, the value of 10200 BTU from solar will cost about $0.14 (Williams 72). However, the heat transfer for solar hot water system is ranging from 50% to 70% (Williams 72). This is equivalent for the heat transfer efficiency for an oil burner hence the price approximations still remains the same.
The total quantity of energy will depend on the total square meter of the roof. For instance, if the roof measures about 1000 square feet which is approximately about 95m2, then total energy produced can be calculated. Considering that the place or locality is able to produce 1500KWH per square meter in one year, therefore, the total power for the 95 m2 will be 95 times 1500. This gives about 142,500KWH of energy per year. The total energy produced per year helps in saving a lot of money because it is cost effective. The extra power can be sold out to the national greed system which can still be used for getting additional cash. The payback period would then be approximately only few years (Williams 73).
The net present value NPV is the sum of all the present values from the individual cash flows for that particular entity. The entity referred in this case is the solar power system as a renewable energy. It considers both the outgoing and the incoming cash flow as a result of an investment. When the discounting rate is 5%, the net present value for the project for number of given years is calculated. Taking the initial cost of the solar panels and their installation to be around $20, 000, and then the NPV is calculated within by the formula as:
For the first year, the NPV = $20,000/ (1+0.05)1 is giving about $19,047 as the present value of the installation of the energy as per the required rating. The calculated present values in the preceding years gives their worth after some period of time. The sum of all calculated present values gives the net present value which helps in determining whether the renewal energy project is worth venturing into. Additionally, the payback period can be determined from this outcome. When comparing the initial cost and the maintenance value, the system installation is cost effective because many recycling power plants can afford it. In addition, there are no negative impacts on the environment. This makes it to be most preferable among the other renewable energy sources used for the paper recycling process, especially the newspapers. The final cost will also depend on the required power output which is determined by the number of solar panels installed for the recycling process. The more the energy required by any recycling newspaper power plant the more resources may be needed to accomplish the project to operate successfully (Williams 73).
The other important rationale behind the recycling of newspaper is the problem of landfill use. For example, in the United States about 36% of both the domestic and industrial solid wastes composed of paper and its associated products (Williams 74). These are alarming statistics, which have prompted the municipal authorities to put in place measures and incentives, which are aimed at encouraging the practice of recycling papers, especially the newspapers.
Finally, there is also the problem of water and air pollution, which had been partially explored in the previous paragraphs. Environmental researches have ascertained that the adoption of paper recycling methods reduces the chances of water pollution by 35% (Williams 76). On the other hand, the recycling of waste papers, such as newspapers helps in reducing the effects of water pollution by about 74% (Williams 89). These are very encouraging statistics that can prompt various governments and environmental protection agencies to embrace the techniques of newspaper recycling among the consumers and the paper mills. This is due to the fact that the pulp mills can be the major causes of both water and air pollution. Therefore, it is important to embrace the technology of recycling newspaper to avoid the effects of both, water and air pollution, which come as a result of dangerous chemicals for bleaching pulp such as sodium hydrosulfite and hydrogen peroxide (Williams 92).
Summary and Conclusion
To sum up, this research paper has focused on paper recycling process, in particular recycling of newspaper. The research problem involved the newspaper paper recycling process and the rationale for carrying out the recycling process. Under the rationale for the recycling the main focus is on the issues of energy, landfill use, and water and air pollution. Therefore, it is important to embrace the use of paper recycling since it helps in conserving energy. Besides, the recycling of papers, especially has helped in the reduction of both water and air pollution. This is so because the recycling process uses little of dangerous chemicals such as hydrogen hydrosulfite and sodium peroxide, which are used in bleaching pulp. The recycling process has also made it possible to embrace other alternative sources of energy such as the solar energy and wind energy. This has enabled the power mills to rely on the solar energy, which is cheaper than the other forms of energy such as electricity. Wind energy is also one of the renewable energy sources that can be embraced in order to eliminate such threats of environmental degradation, which is caused by both water and air pollution. This will reduce cost and prevent deaths due to environmental pollution. Even simple lifestyle changes can be very helpful in making life easier by avoiding deaths, and reducing cost of living. This starts with individual interest to apply efforts in installing solar energy for personal use and also to avoid burning fuels that cause harmful diseases and complications. The same applies to paper mills that might tend to burn fuels that emit carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Latter degrades the ozone layer, thus causing global warming. Problems of landfill use are thoroughly managed under the newspaper recycling since the papers and their associated products form the major part of both the domestic and industrial wastes.