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The separate collection and recycling of paper has become a commonplace practice. And that is very good, because for the packaging of things we order on the internet, for example, we naturally want to consume as few trees as possible. However, paper can’t be endlessly reused.

After seven or eight recyclings, paper fibres are no longer fit for reuse. The fibrous end product contains too many traces of earlier use, such as inks and bleaching agents. Moreover, due to the grinding that is necessary for recycling, the fibres are no longer strong enough to make good sturdy paper.

Nevertheless, this residual product has a great deal of value for AVR: we convert the remaining paper pulp into 100% sustainable energy. And after the combustion process, the remaining mineral substances from the paper find a second life in TopCrete®, a calciferous binding agent that can be used in various building materials.

Residues from the paper recycling industry have been processed in our thermal conversion installation in Duiven since 2002. Each year we produce heat and electricity from around 180,000 tonnes of paper pulp coming from the Netherlands and Germany. Enough to heat thousands of households via a heating network. This means that, for their heating, these residences no longer have to consume fossil fuels like natural gas.

AVR’s processing of paper pulp is a good example of how AVR serves as a supplement to recycling and helps make the circle truly round.

Read more about the Thermal Conversion Installation here (contribution to the international Biobased Economy conference in Rotterdam, 2016).