Recycling your own toilet paper out of throwaway office documents apparently does some good for the environment, saving as many as 60 cedar trees per year. While details of its environmental benefits are sketchy at best (I mean, 60 cedar trees versus all that water and electricity), the White Goat - a huge on-site recycling machine that turns used sheets of cellulose pulps into toilet paper - is definitely coming to Japanese offices this year.
Office paper in, toilet paper out - the device really works as simple as that. You slip the throwaway printouts of your co-workers' mediocrity on the left side slot and wait for the finished product to pop out of the bottom hole. Voila - instant toilet paper (okay, it's not really THAT instant).
So, how does this 1.8m tall, 600kg office ensemble work? Once you feed the White Goat your used sheets of paper (you need 40 A4 sheets for one roll), it is heartily welcomed by a built-in shredder that tears it into tiny pieces. Once cut up in bits, it moves on to a pulper, where the material is dissolved in water. This pulp is then thinned out (into wet paper), dried and rolled up into regular-sized toilet paper. Just like that.
The whole process takes about 30 minutes, which sounds like a bad deal for a single roll of butt wipes. We're not sure how much water or electricity it consumes, nor how soft the resulting product is, but maker Oriental says the operating cost works out to about 11 cents (US$) per roll. If you only depend on this machine for the supply of your toilet paper, I wonder what will happen if the machine ever broke down? J/K
Though the idea is novel, I have my doubts about this early version of an office recycling machine. We'll see how it pans out when they release the White Goat this summer at an approximate price of $100,000.