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Where is all your waste going?

Jun 25, 2017

Have you ever imagined where all the waste materials we throw in our bins go to after collection? We thought you should know because, without this knowledge, it is hard for you to understand the real impact you are making once you decide to decrease the waste you sent to the landfill.

Read below to find out what kinds of products are made from recycled items.

 

Plastic

Plastics are usually divided into seven broad categories, and if you are keen with the plastics in your house, you should have realised that every plastic is given a unique number ranging from one to seven. Once the plastics arrive at the recycling facility, they are sorted and grouped according to the number they bear.

The most common type of plastic we use is #1 that we used to make water bottles and soda. Once the plastics have been separated, they are shredded into flakes and then melted down into pellets. The pellets are sent to different manufacturing companies to be made into new items. Recycled plastics $1 can be transformed into carpets or fleece.

 

Paper

Paper represents one of the areas where recycling has been successful. Once the paper arrives at the mill, it is loaded into a de-inker which removes ink from the paper fibres.

The ink is removed through a chemical washing process. Once the paper has been de-inked, the paper is mixed with solvents in a pulper. The resulting product is called pulp slurry which is moved to a washing machine that spins it at high speed getting rid of any unwanted particles such as glue.

The clean pulp is then wound into giant rolls of paper. Each time paper is recycled, it degrades, and it can't be used as new paper, and the recycled paper can be transformed to make insulation for homes or toilet paper. Recycle paper may also be used to manufacture paper towels and books.

 

Glass

The process of recycling glass starts with the crushing of the glass into smaller pieces referred to as cullet. The cullet is not melted down but is used in different applications.

Cullet act as a sand substitute in various applications such as landscaping, brick manufacturing, and sports turf. The smoothness of the cullet makes it suitable to be used as playing grounds in some cases.

 

Aluminium Cans

Five million aluminium cans are used all over the country annually. Aluminium is one of the easiest materials to recycle and one of the most environmentally valuable and beneficial materials. Aluminium can be recycled a countless number of times without losing its quality hence saving the cost of manufacturing new cans from raw materials.

At the recycling centre, the aluminium cans are compacted into a bale and sent to a processing plant where the cans are shredded into smaller pieces. The fragments are melted down and mixed with a small percentage of raw aluminium materials to manufacture new cans.

 

Although both recyclable, do not confuse the above with Green Waste. Green Waste consists of organic waste which is usually found in the garden. For example, grass/flower cuttings, hedge trimming etc. The whole recycling process is way different from what it was explained above.

Where is all your waste going?



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