The environmentally friendly transport of waste paper

27. 07. 2018

The use of waste paper and its transport by environmentally friendly rail save an enormous amount of resources. Join us as we take a closer look at RCG’s waste paper transports and CO2 emission savings.

RCG transports around 410,000 tonnes of waste paper annually. This saves the environment a great deal of CO2: rail transport saves around 12,299 tonnes of CO2 per year compared with transport by road. This is because the railways require around 3,500 tonnes less fuel than HGVs to transport this quantity (calculated with RCA emission calculation tool based on

Transport of paper bales in conventional wagonload traffic

Employees of Austria’s waste disposal companies collect and sort the waste paper and press most of it into bales for transport. The largest suppliers of recovered paper include Austria Papier Recycling GmbH, Bunzl & Biach GmbH, Energie AG Oberösterreich Umwelt Service GmbH and Papyrus Altpapier Service GmbH. RCG collects these bales from the waste disposal companies and transports them in conventional wagonload traffic to the paper mills that have a siding.
Around 95 percent of the transports are handled on domestic routes, while RCG transports around 5 percent to Austria from neighbouring countries such as Italy (Desio, Maddaloni, Lugo and Santo Stino di Livenza).

Transport of waste paper with innovative transport systems
In addition to the paper bales, RCG also transports waste paper that has not been pressed into bales to the recycling companies. These transports are carried out with the craneless systems ACTS (roll-off container transport system) and Mobiler. These two systems enable the safe and fast reloading of goods. A hydraulic lifting device ensures quick and uncomplicated handling between wagon and HGV. The ACTS system works with loading containers on wheels and a standardised chassis. Neither system requires a siding or a crane.

Waste paper – an ecological pioneer in the recycling economy

After cellulose, waste paper is the second biggest source of raw material in the paper industry. The collection of used paper products has been established in Austria for decades and thrives on a high collection rate and well-functioning systems. Recycling takes place in paper mills. There, the waste paper is dissolved, impurities and broken fibres are removed and the remaining 80 percent is processed into new paper.
Waste paper can be reused several times; only when the fibres become too short are they used for thermal purposes.

Newspapers, paper tissues and cardboard

In Europe, around two thirds of all paper fibres used come from waste paper, the other third are virgin fibres from cellulose. Around 1.5 million tonnes of waste paper are collected in Austria every year. The industry in Austria uses 2.3 million tonnes of waste paper for production, which is more than can be collected within the country. Around 1.3 million tonnes are therefore imported. Recycled fibres are sufficient for many products, such as newspapers, hygiene articles, cardboard inserts or corrugated board.

The demand for waste paper transports remains constant. In the current year alone, RCG has orders to transport around 30,000 tonnes more waste paper in Austria and from Italy than in the previous year.