Spiral notebooks, regardless of whether they have a plastic or a metal spiral binding, are recyclable. The preferred way to recycle them, however, is to remove the spiral binding prior to putting the notebook itself into your recycling bin.
Recycling centers may not have the sophisticated mechanisms necessary to remove the spiral binding as the notebook is traveling through the sorting process, but the bindings will eventually be separated from the notebook. This may happen after it gets baled, sold and has begun the
“Pulping involves water and chemicals. In order to pulp the paper, machines first chop it before water and chemicals are added. Then the mixture is heated to break the paper down more quickly into paper fibers. Finally, the mixtures turn into a mushy mix, known as a slurry or pulp.
To remove contamination from the slurry, the pulp is forced through screens with holes of different sizes and shapes to remove contaminants such as pieces of glue, plastic” and metal. ”If the pulp still contains any heavy contaminants such as staples” or spiral bindings, “the pulp may also be spun around in huge cone-shaped cylinders. The cylinders throw the heavy contaminants out of the cone using centripetal force while light contaminants go to the center of the cone and are removed.”
When placing spiral notebooks into your recycling, it is preferred and very helpful if contaminants, such as staples, paper clips and bindings are removed first. With steps in place through the recycling process to separate the paper materials from these contaminants, however, it’s better to recycle the whole notebook than to throw it in the trash headed for a landfill.
For more information on recyclable items visit www.wasteawaygroup.com.