Instructions for a paper log maker

Written by patti perry
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Instructions for a paper log maker
Compressed paper logs add to a fuel supply. (newspaper image by Christopher Hall from

Recycling paper products into fuel helps to control the mountain of paper trash that inundates our lives. Cardboard, envelopes and paper egg cartoons are some of the items that you can use in this process. Compression is the method; soaking is the start. Water begins to turn the paper items back into the pulp state and pressure then forms this substance into "logs" that will burn when dry. With a few simple items, you can begin your experiment in paper log making.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Old towelling
  • Two paving slabs or breeze blocks

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  1. 1

    Tear newspaper and other recycled paper products into 3-inch strips.

  2. 2

    Soak the paper in a bucket of water or a sink for five minutes.

  3. 3

    Put this wet paper product onto an old towel and squeeze by twisting the ends of the towel until the mass of paper is compacted in the centre.

  4. 4

    Place this mass of paper, still tightly compressed in the twisted towel, onto a paving slab or breeze block.

  5. 5

    Lay another paver onto the top of the paper mass and allow to dry for at least one hour.

  6. 6

    Remove the compressed paper from the towelling and set in a dry, warm location to finish drying completely. This may take days depending on the humidity.

Tips and warnings

  • Place an empty food can around a paper log to secure it for burning, then remove it after the paper has all burnt away.
  • Although most newsprint is vegetable based, avoid glossy pages, as these may give off toxic smoke and fumes.

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