Every week I diligently separat e commingled recyclables from paper and trash. In the back of my head I realize that this is a somewhat futile act because in New York, carting corporations are not required by law to recycle unless it is a profitable venture.
But, I do it anyway, perhaps just for practice for when it actually will be kept separate throughout its recycled lifecycle! At the end of the week most of the garbage ends up being paper, then commingled (recyclable plastic and aluminum), and finally organic material. With all of these paper products being discarded, I started to wonder if it would be possible to efficiently recycle waste paper as new paper. The results were interesting.
From a total hands-on, crafting viewpoint, papermaking by hand turns out to be extremely inexpensive, yet very time consuming. However, I can't imagine it being very time-consuming to automate the process a great deal, reducing the labor involved to something akin to an automatic bread maker.