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DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Can you recycle old newspapers into firelogs without pulping them or using water?

Asked by DarlingRhadamanthus (11273points) May 14th, 2011

I was looking at my newspapers and remembered seeing a device that made your newspapers into firelogs. I looked it up on the internet and instead of being something that you just fed your newspapers into easily and then cubed them for firelogs…you are directed to put the newspaper into water for a day or two until it is a gluey mess. Then,you put them into this little contraption and squeeze all the water out and then you put the cube out to dry. It is messy and time consuming…and if a 200 lb guy is having trouble squeezing the water out of the paper (huffing and puffing) I don’t think I will fare any better.

Then, you have another man who invented a little tube. You wrap the newspaper around the tube and then stuff it with all the debris you have left over…twigs, paper, flyers, whatever. But you only use _one sheet or two _ of newspaper. While that works well if you have a lot of garbage to put into the newspaper tube…it’s not so great when you are attempting to use up a lot of newspapers.

Does anyone know an efficient way to use newspapers to burn in fireplaces/woodstoves? I was just thinking of rolling them up very tightly with cotton twine, but I am not sure if that is safe or it will work.

Any information would be most appreciated.

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12 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Sounds like a great invention. Race ya to the patent office!

Cruiser's avatar

Potential big problem with just burning rolled up paper logs is they will not burn hot enough….hence the fancy schmancy contraption for pulping and compressing the paper. Burning just paper won’t get hot enough and will just kick out smoke and creosote which will create problems…potentially big problems for your chimney. This Guy suggests just recycling your old news paper as in the end is a greener solution and safer.

Judi's avatar

It seems to me my dad had some kind of contraption when I was little (the ‘60’s) that rolled them up into tight logs. I was a little girl so I don’t remember much about it.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@Judi….That’s what I thought…I thought there was something that did that. Hmmm.

@Cruiser,...Yes I was wondering about the creosote.

@Real….I know….or we could work together…I’m sure that’s what Mr Rogers would say to us.

Thanks for answering….lurve on the way.

Blueroses's avatar

Hmm. What occurs to me is it would be pretty easy to adapt something like these Library newspaper sticks.
Attach a handle to the closed end and thread it through holes in a wooden base (like a paper towel holder, but larger)

Thread in as many papers as you want, then clamp the open end of the stick, roll ‘em up tight, bind the roll and release the clamp to pull the stick out.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Are you looking for this gadget? Someone invented an attachment for an electric drill that works the same way.

Nullo's avatar

When we had a fireplace, I would twist a couple pages together, fold, and twist again to stand in for light kindling.

flutherother's avatar

I remember my grandfather showing me how to roll up a newspaper so it could be tied in a knot to start a coal fire. There is also at least one patent on making briquettes from waste paper.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have burned rolled newspapers. They make a lot of ash – I estimate about double that of wood. Also the flame is not as nice. If you mix them with wood you will be ok. The BTUs per pound of paper and wood are virtually identical. The problem is ash and aesthetics. I do not know about emissions.
Don’t burn the shiny paper. It does not burn well and leaves way more ash than it’s worth.

I heat with wood and have a high efficiency, high temp, reburner type woodburner.

incendiary_dan's avatar

It would probably require the water still, but couldn’t you press logs down into a PVC pipe using a large dowel that fit loosely into it?

gasman's avatar

They used to advertise newspaper-into-logs rolling machines all the time, in places like Parade Magazine and SkyMall. I guess I didn’t notice if they stopped advertising. I never tried such a machine but I agree with @worriedguy that it generates much ash. Burning shiny color pages generates heavy metal residue, i.e., environmental toxins.

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