Most of us chuck out papers in recycling bins without giving it a second thought. That explains the low recycling rate of paper wastes where industries have been making papers for over 2,000 years, while it's only 100 years since people learned the essence of paper recycling.

People often think they must take their used papers to their nearest paper mills for recycling. This isn't the case because you can as well recycle your papers at home without any issue. You simply need to remove some household waste such as old paper, used printer paper, junk mails, and others and create a unique handmade item. Creative art, isn't it?

Recycling helps protect the environment, but the process goes beyond putting paper into a recycle bin. Here are four practical ways to recycle your old scrap paper.

Method 1: Recycling old papers in the garage or garden

Step1.      Collect all your home papers and office newspapers into a mulch. Cut the papers and layer the strips around your plants. The mulch will limit the weed growth and keep the soil moist. Don't use glossy or inked papers as mulch.

Step2.      Add newspapers to the compost. They add carbon to well-balanced compost piles.

Step3.      Old papers and newspapers are great protectors against spillage. Use them as spill guards when repairing or painting your staining furniture.

Method 2: Recycling used papers around the house

Old papers can be reused at home to make cat litters. Follow the following steps:

Step1.      Get some baking soda.

Step2.      Shred the old paper using a shredder.

Step3.      Soak the shredded papers in warm water. Add biodegradable dish soap.

Step4.      Drain the water. Soak the papers again without dish soap.

Step5.      Sprinkle some baking soda onto the shredded paper. Knead the mixture together.  Squeeze to remove moisture.

Step6.      Keep it on a screen and allow it a few days to dry.

Alternatively, you can use old papers or newspapers to wrap presents. Sunday comics are the best gift wrappers due to their many colours.

Most people also use old newspapers and used paper bags to make book covers. You can decorate a new hardbound book using a newspaper.

Method 3: Dispose of through a local waste management service

If you don't intend to recycle your used papers at home, you can contact your area waste management service and seek information about their available recycling services. After inquiring about the services, do the following:

Step1.      Ask about what's recyclable and what's not. Most waste management companies accept maps, envelopes, magazines, newspapers, and cardboard. Laminated papers, pet food bags, frozen food boxes, and waxed papers aren't recyclable.

Step2.      Sort the recyclable and non-recyclable papers, and place them in different bins.

Step3.      Pack your old recyclable papers and take them to the recycling centre.

General recycling guide for used papers

Generally, you can recycle your used papers by following these steps. The process doesn’t limit the waste paper disposal to home or business.

Step1. Take the papers from the bin and deposit them in a large recycling container along with the papers from other recycling bins.

Step2. Transport the papers to a local recycling plant to be separated and graded.

Step3. Wash the separated papers with soapy water to remove glue, staples, plastic film and inks.

Step4. Put the paper into a large holder to mix with water. It will form “slurry.”

Step5. Add different materials to the slurry to create different paper products such as office paper, newsprints and cardboard.

Step6. Spread the slurry using large rollers to create large thin sheets.

Step7. Leave the papers to dry. Once they dry, roll them up and cut them before sending them back to the shops.

Are you looking for a safe way to dispose of your paper?  Recycle it and save the environment.