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Thread: The recycling thread.

  1. #1
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    The recycling thread.

    Being older I still fill verrrry slightly productive in this World by putting my recyclables in the relevent bins. The guys who collect it are perhaps ten thousand times more productive but I do my bit. But how effective is the effort is the question these days. I have queries about what sort of plastic goes into things. The bins themselves are said to use recycled stuff. And crates and pallets. Wiki has good info but I wonder if anyone here has good stories. I have ideas for things to make but it is the market that must prevail. And late one night I heard that sewage works are providing oily stuff for an outfit making bio deisel. Sounds like a good thing but dont crash into those tankers on the road.

  2. #2
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    In terms of stories, here's one. Until recently, I lived in the City of Atlanta, which provides a recyling service for residents. You throw all the accepted material in one bin and the city hauls it off to get sorted and sold. Included among accepted material is glass. Not too long ago, a rumor was circulated among residents that the city actually did not recycle glass. Multiple people queried the city and got essentially the same answer: the city still accepts glass in the recycle bin. That satisfied most but not a determined few who pressed the issue. Long story short - yes, the city still accepted glass but their recycling contractor did not. The glass market was too weak. So the glass was sorted out and sent to the city landfills. A lot of residents were outraged, including me. Not because the city couldn't sell the glass but because they not only failed to volunteer that information to residents but provided misleading answers when asked about it. Besides being played the fools, did it matter? Yes, because there still exists a few options for recycling glass, including a 'hard-to-recycle' collection center that takes just about anything and legitimately recycles it. You can drop your glass off there, which is what I did.

  3. #3
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    It is impossible to give a simple answer on recycling.

    First, it is completely dependent upon what material you are talking about. Even among the various plastics, there are huge differences. Second, it varies hugely from country-to-country and within the US, from state-to-state and city-to-city.

    Third, what does one define as success? Is it reduction of solid waste streams, into landfills or incinerators, and is that by weight or volume? Is it reduction in mining or energy use because of differences in making new materials from recycling or virgin ores/sources?

    And how does one figure into this some of the horrible practices (with regard to human safety and the environment) with "recycling" of electronic and similar wastes?

    I'm afraid I have a lot more questions than answers.
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  4. #4
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    If cosumers accepted food products in brown or green glass the recycling would be more efficient. In the uk we import a lot of coloured glass wine bottles but most foodstuffs use clear glass. There would still be too much glass but we could shift some plastic packaging into glass and card. Unlike plstic food packaging glass is acceptable recycled many times. The plastics in the ocean news is a real scandal although it might just be inert like sand inthe end. Food packaging is the number one target because there's so much and composites make it impossible to recycle. Most is not allowed back into the food chain. It ends up dumped or burned for energy.
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  5. #5
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    Here are two earlier threads on recyling:
    https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...0570-Recycling
    https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...5320-Recycling
    One wonders at the waste of another thread... all those electrons!
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  6. #6
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    Lot of interesting stuff in those older threads. But since then new developments. Plastics are poisoning the oceans like you would not believe. China has gone snooty over having our recycling. (Dont blame them). And it does not stop. My interest is using the plastic for items that will last decades and be useful in the environment. I saw stuff about a firm making railway sleepers from low value plastic. (or railroad ties...lets call the whole thing off etc etc). And a fellow on the radio one night said rural fencing made of wood lasts five years whereas plastic will last decades. My big idea is allotment tubs that bring the growing surface up to elbow height for those who cannot bend down. Eighty or a hundred tubs in a curving line each two or three feet square. With a bury bush between lines. Should use up more of the stuff!

  7. #7
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    Another thing I wonder about. What nation or nations are going to volunteer to collect that stuff in the Pacific with some sort of boom and find an island for a processing plant. But then it cannot do ships propellers any good steaming through the material. But thats another reason to collect the stuff. BIGGG problems what!

  8. #8
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    HEY! There is an outfit just starting out to collect stuff from the Pacific garbage patch. Grrr...eat! They will not make much money but then the variety of marine life is priceless.

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