What is Recycling?
Recycling is the process of taking a small step towards collecting and processing plastic materials to ensure that they would not reach landfill otherwise. We all should make sure to use plastic materials to their full potential.
Importance of Recycling in the Waste Management
Recycling plays an important role in waste management as well as for the environment because waste has a huge negative impact on the natural environment.
- Toxic chemicals and harmful greenhouse gasses released from dumped waste landfill sites. Certainly, recycling helps to reduce the GHGs emission caused by waste.
- Natural habitat destruction and global warming are the major side-effects of deforestation. Certainly, recycling lowers the need for raw materials to make new products, so that the forest can be preserved.
- Indeed, vast amounts of energy used in manufacturing products from raw materials. Recycling requires less energy in comparison to manufacturing new products. Therefore, it helps to preserve natural resources
Types of Recycling
Primary recycling is the recycling in which the state of the product does not change. Either reused or recovered in its current state. We can consider this type of recycling as second-hand use of the product or buying something used.
Primary recyclables does not changed in any way. For example glassware, toys, and electronics. Moreover, you can sell or donate your old electronic
Basically, secondary recycling means repurposing the product in different ways without reprocessing them. However, the material reused differently instead, initially manufactured to use. Moreover, it includes DIY crafts and using plastic packaging in a useful way and making a huge difference ensuring plastic/recyclable material stays out of landfills.
You can cut egg cartons in half and use them to plant seedlings, cut off the plastic bottle in half to use it as a plant pot. So, try to reuse plastic, paper, wood, metals to do any type of DIY project.
Tertiary recycling involves the external and chemical altering of the products or materials to make them reusable. There are two methods of tertiary recycling: internally or externally.
Externally, the recyclables recovered and reprocessed through a public facility. In addition, it could involve sorting and transportation of recyclables for further reprocessing by a recycling facility. However, internal recycling includes no involvement of the public service. Some industries or manufactures may conduct internal tertiary recycling.
Facts about Recycling
- Globally, 21.5 million tons of food wasted each year. In contrast, if we try to compost that food that would reduce the same amount of greenhouse gas equivalent to taking 2 million cars off the road.
- Recycling 100 cans could make your bedroom lighten up for two whole weeks.
- A glass container recycled in 30 days to go from a recycling bin to a store shelf. Glass could re-manufactured for an infinite amount of time and never wear out. Certainly, recycling just one glass jar saves enough electricity to light an 11 watt CFL bulb for 20 hours.
- In addition, five recycled plastic bottles provide fiber to create a carpet or enough fiber to fill one ski jacket.
- Making paper from recycled paper reduces the related contribution to air pollution by 95%. Subsequently, protects forests which help to reduce CO2 emissions
- Recycling 1 ton of cardboard saves 46 gallons of oil.
- It conserves finite natural resources as the population continues to grow exponentially.
- Recycling conserves fresh water up to 95% in the mining and manufacturing process for many materials.
- In addition, this process prevents waste from going into oceans
- Recycling reduces the use of fossil fuels to generate energy and reduces CO2 emissions
Color coding of Recycling Bins
Every country has a slight difference in the recycling color coding of bins. Here is basic color coding for different materials recycling is as follows:
Green: Dark green or Green trash can is for general waste without any hazardous waste like cigarettes’.
Red: Red bin is generally for plastic waste like plastic recyclable bottles, lids, and plastic containers.
Blue: Blue waste container is for all kind of paper waste including cardboards, magazines, newspapers, etc. Wet and soiled paper should composted
Yellow: Yellow bin is generally for metal cans like food and drink cans, metallic openers and bottle caps.
Common Myths about Recycling
Containers need squeaky cleaning for recycling
Consumers do not need to crystal clean the containers in order to recycle them. This only needs rough cleaning of containers, like removing food leftover and water from the container, because food scraps slow down the process of recycling and could clog the machine
Items made of different materials should sorted first
It’s a very common myth about recycling that you need to sort every material in the recycling. But it’s not true, nowadays communities are using “single stream” systems that provide different bins for recyclables and encourage people to do so. This process reduces odors and speeds up the process, but the recycling steps involve washing, shredding, and crushing the material, and then often melting it.
Materials recycled only once
It is not true at all, recyclable material can be recycled more than once. For example, glass can be recycled multiple times. Several recyclable items like paper usually recycled once. But, it may be downcycled to some extent to make some cheaper items.
All plastic is recyclable
It’s not always true. The number written inside the recycling arrows on the packaging refers to the type of plastic used to make the item. According to Keelig, the 1s and 2s are always recyclable. So, it includes everyday items, like soda, water bottles, laundry detergent cans, dish detergent, and milk bottles. Moreover, almost 80-90% of plastic made of this material, you can do enough if you at least recycle them properly.
Items made of recycled materials are cheap in quality
Earlier, products made from recycled materials were often of lower quality. Recycled paper visible gray and rough as well as recycled plastic had a weak reputation. But gradually as sustainability demands increase, manufacturers have learned a great approach for recycled products. As a result, producers have made noticeable strides in quality. Certainly, a lot of companies started to publish their sustainability goals, the use of recycled resins is transitioning from just a low-cost alternative to an important part of the original product.
Top 10 Materials that can be and can’t be Recycled
|S. No.||Materials That CAN be Recycled||Materials that CAN’T be recycled|
All type of paper at home like newspaper, notebook, books are recyclable
If the paper is soiled or wet, try to compost it
Plastic bags could not be included as part of curbside recycling.
Try to reuse the plastic bag or learn where you can recycle them separately.
Do not put your recyclable in the plastic bag
Flatten the cardboard boxes and recycle them.
If there is food in cardboard, like pizza cardboard, soiled cardboard can not be recycled
|Food and drinks|
Do not throw food in the dustbin.
to compost the food, better to consume well
Clean and dry the plastic bottles before recycling
Not every plastic can be recycled
Read instructions for recycling
Do not throw clothing in the trash, better to donate someone
Clothes can’t be recycled, they can only be reused
Give them to the second-hand store
Always recycle clean and dry aluminum cans
It requires 95% less energy than manufacturing new ones
Dirty diapers and pet’s waste have a separate facility to decompose
Recycling is not the place for yuk’s
Steel(tin) is the best material to recycle, used for making cans for vegetable broth, soup, canned food, etc.
Be sure to rinse them out before recycling them.
|Plastic Wrap and film|
Any type of food wrap should not go in the recycling bin
Thin plastic wrap, usually gummed up recycling machines
Prioritize reuse over recycle
Glass is 100% recyclable
It recycled in even 30 days and come back to the shelf
No need to manufacture from raw materials
|Single-use disposable food containers|
They can not be recycled in any facility
They are made up of polystyrene, impossible to recycle
|7.||Juice & Milk Cartons|
Check for your nearby recycling facility to recycle juice and milk cartons
Need to be washed and dried
Medical waste can pose a safety hazard and never goes in curbside recycling or waste bins.
So, dispose of them in a medical recycling facility
They contain toxins like silver, zinc, or even mercury.
It’s necessary to recycle batteries to prevent them from leaking into landfills.
Find a nearby facility to recycle batteries
|Tetra packs and Styrofoam’s|
Tetra packs have several layers of different types of materials which makes it hard to recycle them.
Styrofoam is a puffed version of the plastic called polystyrene that does not recycle anywhere
85 to 95% of materials used in mattresses can be recycled fully
It’s bad to throw them directly into landfills
Reuse or give to someone else to use
Coffee cups are lined with plastic that makes them unrecyclable
Bring your own reusable cup to the coffee shops
|10.||Magazines and Ads|
All types of glossy magazines can be recycled
Mail advertisement also comes in the category of recyclable
Soiled and wet magazines should be composted
Bubble wrap cant be recycled in a recycling facility.
So, it needs a special collecting facility to process.
Pay attention to where you are throwing these bubble wraps