Still, I was raised cheap, by the descendants of the Great Depression. In their time, many homes still had fire fueled stoves for warmth and cooking. Wood was gathered from nearby forest, cut from felled trees or bought as logs and chopped into useable sizes.
Also, most of my family was from Pennsylvania, so coal was also gathered from railroad tracks as the cars flew by leaving some coal by the way, bought from a coal vendor and delivered seasonally by the truckload or purchased as needed from a cart vendor. There was no such thing as waste fuel as there was no such thing as waste.
My grandmother rolled newsprint logs for her fireplace, well into her seventies. As a child, she made twisters for her mother. She would gather newsprint and taking a pile of it and a bucket to the porch step, she would tear a section of the paper and twist it. When all the papers were twisted she would press them into her bucket, wetting them.
Compressed wood fuel for the stoves I have mentioned above can be made at home but most instructions start with: Buy a hammer mill or Buy a pellet mill and plug it in. Well and good if you have a fat wallet and the power never goes out, ever! But there are ways to compress wood fibre and what is now called waste into usable fuel for the fireplace without "buy a big new pluggy in thing"!
Paper is wood fiber and once made into pulp, it binds itself together and dries into the shape of it's mold. Sure, you can buy a hand press and mold, but you can make one, too. Using an old #10 can, a coffee can or a 6" or 8" diameter PVC pipe from the hardware store. Drill drain holes all around the cylinder for water to runoff. Fashion a top and bottom plate that will fit inside the mold. Place the bottom stop plate on a level surface, place the mold over it, fill with wet paper pulp and place the top stop plate on. Add weight of a brick or block and just let the water run out. When the water stops, lift the weight, press again. It will press out foamy. This is good. Push the disc of pressed paper pulp out of the mold and allow discs to dry thoroughly.
This sample of a bio waste fuel disc was made from sawdust made while turning wood and paper pulp. The mold method works just as well for paper pulp only as the pulp is the binder that keeps the sawdust wood fibers together.
The UK and Australia offer another form of the log maker. They encourage adding dry leaves to the paper mix. And, why not? Instead of bagging your leaves and dropping them curbside, make use of them.