Waste paper recycling: A community technology approach

Thomas, Christine (1986). Waste paper recycling: A community technology approach. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000deb7


This research project aims to explore the hypothesis that a Community Technology approach can be considered appropriate for reclamation and recycling activities, and to investigate the opportunities for reclaiming and recycling domestic wastes viably at a 'community' scale. A framework is first established to define a Community Technology approach, and then used to assess the compatibility of reclamation and recycling technologies to this approach. 'Community '-scale reclamation and recycling in Britain, together with some examples from the USA, is examined and the 'state of the art' for both areas of activity described. 'Community'-scale is interpreted as relating to groups of people of less than 10,000, defined as neighbourhoods (of between 100 and 1,000 people) and communities (of 1,000 to 10,000 people).

Initial analysis identified only three recycling processes with potential as 'community'-scale activities; all concerned with waste paper recycling. One of these, a neighbourhood-scale technology, was chosen for a detailed feasibility study. The process involves recycling waste paper into sheets of drawing or printing paper suitable for use as 'art' paper, in particular as speciality printing paper, or as sugar paper in schools. The feasibility study was carried out using design and evaluation methods, to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of the process and to investigate what role it might play in the community, in particular in relation to promoting greater community self-reliance. The results show that this technology would not be financially or economically viable as an independent enterprise but indicated additional non-quantified social benefits and hence a possible non-economic role in the community. Some possibilities of educational and job creation roles are explored.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions