10 Top Recycling Techniques
Exploring Innovative Plastic Recycling Technologies
Recycling has become an essential practice in today’s circular economy.
With increasing plastic waste production and its harmful impacts on the environment, adopting proper recycling techniques can significantly reduce our carbon footprint.
Many of us want to recycle plastic waste but get confused about the right methods.
Understanding the best recycling practices will help you become an efficient recycler and promote sustainability.
In this article, we will discuss 10 top recycling techniques from a reliable rubbish removal company that you can easily implement to make your life greener.
1. Learn Your Local Recycling Rules
The first step towards effective recycling is understanding what materials you can and cannot recycle in your area. Recycling regulations differ across councils and regions.
Check with your local council about the do’s and don’ts of recycling. This will help you avoid wishful recycling where unaccepted plastic waste ends up contaminating loads at the materials recovery facility.
Knowing the recycling guidelines will also help you properly sort waste into the right bins. This improves the quantity and purity of valuable resources recovered for recycling.
2. Rinse Out Containers
Give your recyclables a quick rinse before tossing them in the recycling bin. Solid food scraps and liquid residues can contaminate other valuable resources, making them unfit for recycling.
A simple rinse to remove food debris improves the quality and marketability of recycled materials. It also reduces odor issues and the attraction of pests to outdoor recycling stations.
3. Flatten Cardboard Boxes
Flatten large cardboard boxes before placing them into your recycling bin. This simple practice saves a lot of space.
By flattening boxes, you can fit more cardboard into your curbside recycling bin. This prevents overflow situations where recycled cardboard ends up in landfills instead.
Try breaking down boxes along their glued edges. Remove any plastic strapping, bubble wrap or foam padding first.
4. Leave Lids on Bottles and Jars
When recycling plastic bottles and jars, leave the lids on. Snapping on the lid keeps the plastic container intact and the materials together.
The lid and bottle are usually made from the same type of plastic. Leaving them connected improves the chances that both pieces get recycled.
Loose lids often fall through the gaps in sorting machinery. So they eventually head to landfills while their bottles get recycled separately.
5. Don’t Bag Recyclables
Avoid placing recyclables in plastic bags unless instructed by your local recycling program. Plastic bags get tangled in the machinery at sorting facilities, disrupting recycling operations.
Loose paper, cardboard, metal cans, and plastic bottles are much easier to sort and process than bagged recyclables. Always keep materials loose in your curbside bin.
If you have extra recyclables, use a second bin rather than bagging them together. This avoids rejected loads at recycling plants.
6. Break Down Large Pieces
Before tossing bulky plastic waste like cardboard boxes, break them down into smaller pieces. Oversized items can jam equipment and conveyor belts at recycling facilities.
Removing attached plastic wrappings also helps large cardboard pieces lie flat in your bin. Aim for pieces no bigger than 60 cm x 60 cm x 20 cm.
The same applies to large rigid plastics like crates and buckets. Cut them down to a manageable size before recycling whenever possible.
7. Keep Special Wastes Out
Household hazardous plastic waste like chemicals, batteries, CFL bulbs require special disposal. Do not place them in your curbside recycling bin!
These items contain toxic compounds and pose contamination risks. Always check your local household hazardous waste (HHW) program for proper disposal options.
Also keep tanglers like cables, wires and hoses out of the recycling. They get wrapped around other valuable resources and equipment, causing disruptions.
8. Consider Composting Food Scraps
Around one-third of household garbage is composed of organic plastic waste like food scraps, yard trimmings and paper fibers.
Composting these materials at home keeps them out of landfills. It produces an organic fertilizer that nourishes your garden soil.
Check if your local council offers compost bins at subsidized rates. Alternatively, you can purchase commercial compost bins and tumblers for home use.
9. Donate Usable Items
Clothing, footwear, books, small appliances and other household goods you no longer need can be donated rather than trashed.
Look for local charities and opportunity shops accepting used goods in reusable condition. Your donations can support community programs while diverting reusable plastic waste from landfills.
Some charities even offer free pick-ups for large donations like furniture and electronics. Be sure to get receipts for potential tax deductions.
10. Purchase Recycled Products
Close the recycling loop by buying products made from recycled plastic waste. Check for recycled content labels when shopping.
Choosing paper products with post-consumer recycled fiber saves trees. Recycled plastic lumber is a sustainable alternative for outdoor decking.
Even recycled aluminum and glass use less energy consumption than producing items from virgin materials. So purchase recycled whenever possible.
Emerging Recycling Technologies
Advanced recycling technologies like chemical recycling offer new plastic waste recycling potential. Chemical processes can break down plastic items into their raw material building blocks for reproduction of new plastic products.
Automated recycling robots with artificial intelligence can help improve sorting efficiency at materials recovery facilities. Sensor technologies like fill-level detectors on bins also enhance smart waste management.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I put all plastics in my recycling bin?
No, not all plastic items can go into household recycling bins. The recyclability of plastics depends on their resin codes like PET, HDPE, PP and what your local program accepts. Avoid dumping non-recyclable plastics like bags, wrap and polystyrene.
2. Do I need to clean food stained cardboard before recycling?
A quick wipe or rinse to remove food debris from cardboard is recommended before recycling. Large soiled sections may need to be cut out. Avoid putting grease-stained pizza boxes in your curbside recycling.
3. Can I dispose of used motor oil in my recycling bin?
No, never put used motor oil or other hazardous wastes in your recycling bin. Check with your local council about proper HHW disposal options.
- Learn what your local program recycles and sorts properly.
- Rinse containers and flatten cardboard boxes.
- Leave caps on bottles and don’t bag recyclables.
- Breakdown large items and keep hazardous waste out.
- Consider composting organics and donating usable goods.
- Purchase recycled products when possible.
Increasing our recycling rates across all sectors is imperative.
This is to reduce environmental impacts and build a sustainable circular economy.
Although recycling systems face ongoing challenges, the recycling industry continues to innovate.
Also, to find new opportunities in recovering recyclable materials.
With advanced plastic recycling technologies, communities can significantly improve recycling outcomes.
By following these best practice recycling techniques in our daily lives, we can help drive better recycling rates.
Also, we can protect the planet for generations to come.