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Firstly, each newspaper should be slightly shredded

by hand. Using electricity seems a bit self
defeating. I had put the papers in whole with a
view to later mashing.
Secondly, the process of pressing down on the two
levers becomes very painful, as the angle the
leavers end up at is an awkward 45 degrees.
Thirdly, disengaging the mould from the frame
which holds the handles is very awkward and can
take some time.
Fourthly, you have to get quite a bit of space off
the ground to place the soggy briquettes on once
they have been disgorged from the moulding
frame. You then have to find somewhere for them
to dry. Since the ground was quickly turning very
wet and muddy, a bit of hard standing would have
been useful.
Fifthly, it is not a quick process. I would think we
will have to wait a while for the briquettes to dry.
Sixthly, bearing in mind that each briquette takes
between 3 to 5 painful minutes to produce the heat
output and burn rate are important.

Recycling paper or making briquettes?

Which is better: recycling all your paper, or soaking it and making
briquettes to burn and so reducing the need for heating oil deliveries?
Every time we put out a kilogram of paper to be recycled we are
effectively saving 3-4 kilowatt hours of energy - and 30 litres of water from being used to make new paper out of virgin timber, according to
environmental charity WasteWatch. That's the potential saving. But what
it doesn't say is how much energy it takes to turn that old paper back into
paper ready to be reused. (It's also worth bearing in mind that 51% of our
recycled paper is sent abroad for processing.) Soaking, processing, and
transporting recycled paper is clearly an energy-intensive business. Plus,
the process isn't infinite: paper can only be recycled about five times
before the fibres degrade beyond use.
The briquette makers you sometimes see advertised in newspapers
(including this one) do involve quite a bit of effort to use. You need to
shred and soak the waste paper first, then, once the briquettes are made,
you need to store them so they can dry out. It is estimated that one
broadsheet (or smaller, post-broadsheet) newspaper will make a briquette
that will burn for about an hour. Broadly speaking, this is equal to one
kilowatt hour of energy.
The Centre for Alternative Technology (, which itself sells
briquette makers, says "taking small amounts of paper out of the waste
stream for use as fuel will make no real difference to the volume of paper
we recycle, but it would not make sense to do so on a mass scale". The
UK's high level of paper recycling- about 80% of newsprint is made from
recycled paper - is a good example of something approaching "closed
loop" recycling, it says.
"In deeply rural areas where doorstep collection of newspaper is not
carried out and the local recycling centre is some distance away, then it
makes sense to use waste paper on site," it says. "Here, the logmaker is
probably the better option. But where an established doorstep collection
exists, then it makes sense to use this efficient recycling route, which
guarantees that the paper will be reused."


secret method for making Newspaper Bricks


What to do
What to avoid
Scrunch each page
individually. Make a Don't waste time and
Prepare the paper
dry pile on the
effort shredding
ground next to you.
Put the scrunched
paper into a bucket
Don't wait for days,
and cover it with
or even hours. You
water, or start with
don't need the paper
Soak the paper
half a bucket of
to fall apart. You just
water and stuff the
need it to be wet and
paper pieces into it.
Less water, same
Place the open
brickmaker on
grassy, flat ground in
your garden. Push
Don't stress. Just do
each little bundle of it. If your first
paper in firmly and attempt falls apart,
Pack the brick
flatten it a little so
you'll have little fire
that the other pieces starters and more
overlap and
experience to pack
interlock. They need the brick maker more
to be able to 'grab' effectively next time.
onto each other
when the water is
pressed out.
Position the metal
plate over the top of
the wet paper. It
should rest just
Don't catch your
within the black
fingers between the
metal frame. Then
bars. Use one hand,
using only ONE hand,
Place the cover on
hold the handle, and
raise and position
and prepare to
move each bar
the metal cross bars.
individually until you
There's a right way
are confident you
and a wrong way for
know how to cross
the bars to cross.
the bars safely..
They should rest
'smoothly' together.
If not, alternate their
Press the water
Use your FOOT - not Don't jump, bash or
your hands. Put on a break the brick
work boot or strong maker. Just step down


Remove the wet


Dry the bricks.

Burn them!

What to do
What to avoid
shoe then position
firmly and evenly
your foot directly
where the bars cross.
over the cross.
Increase the pressure
Gently increase the
with your foot, then
pressure to squeeze
release it, gently
the water from the
forcing the water out.
Open the cross bars
If the water is not
and remove the
running freely
frame that holds
enough onto the
your new brick.
grass below the brick
There is enough
maker, it might pool
flexibility in the base
on the top. Just pour
plate to stretch it out
the water off and
a little as you release
press with your foot
the brick. Hold the
again until the brick
base plate vertically
has compressed into
and release the brick
a firm and solid
onto its side to rest
on a flat surface.
You can make these
paper bricks at any
Don't panic if you
time during the year,
need to make more
but obviously they
during winter. Stack
will dry faster in
your wet bricks near
summer. I start
your fire - with gaps
making mine in
of air circulating
summer and stack
between them and
them in their own
they'll dry within a
'wood stack' under
day or two.
cover when they are
Never underestimate
the warmth and
efficiency of a paper
It is easy to release a
brick made this way.
small amount of
You don't need to fill
paper to act as the
a wood-burning stove
'lighting point' on
with paper bricks the
these bricks as you
way you'd stuff it with
lay them out to dry .
sheets of newspaper.
When starting a new
Burn one or two
fire, use a paper
bricks at a time with
brick instead of fire
your vent almost
lighters to ignite your
closed and you'll
quickly learn how
effective they can be.


What to do

What to avoid

Print out this table of instructions to help you make your first paper bricks ... then
scrunch it up and add it to your paper mix after you've comfortably mastered the