The most widely used treatment system in the pulp and paper industry - the activated sludge - produces high quantities of sludge which need proper disposal. In this paper a modified activated sludge process is presented. A synthetic wastewater, prepared to simulate the effluent of bleached and unbleached pulp and paper plant wastewater, was submitted to treatment in a bench scale aerobic reactor. The excess sludge was lysed in a mechanical mill - Kaddy™ mill - and totally recycled to the aeration tank. In the first phase the synthetic wastewater, without the chlorinated compounds, was fed to the reactor. In the second phase increasing dosages of the chlorinated compounds were used. Total recycle of excess sludge after disintegration did not produce adverse effects. During the first phase average COD removal efficiency was 65% for the control unit, which operated in a conventional way, and 63% for the treatment unit, which operated with total recycle. During the second phase the COD removal efficiency increased to 77% in the control unit and 75% in the treatment unit. Chlorinated organics removal was 85% in the treatment unit and 86% for the control unit. These differences are not significant.

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