Recycled Materials

Recycling is the process of collecting and processing used materials, that would be thrown away, to turn them into new products.

A landfill compaction vehicle in action.

image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waste_management#/media/File:Landfill_compactor.jpg

Introduction of recycling

American poster from World War II. 1942 and circa 1943

Although recycling may seem like a modern concept introduced with the environmental movement of the 1970s, it’s actually been around for thousands of years. But, after the industrial age, a large-scale recycling plan was needed to minimize the effects of disposable objects’ mass production on the environment.


Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recycling#/media/File:Scrap^_Will_Help_Win._Don’t_Mix_it_-_NARA_-_533983.jpg

WHY?

Recycling is an important factor in conserving natural resources and greatly contributes towards improving the environment. Recycling also offers a sustainable solution to regular waste streams by lowering our input into municipal landfills and helping extend the expected life of a landfill by decades, drastically lowering our environmental impact. Product development from recycled materials is also the key to maximize the benefits of recycling. This leads to a number of economic opportunities to remanufacture products with the recovered material.

Kanapou Bay, Kaho‘olawe, Hawaii
Ocean pollution

image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/e6426545-5de2-4f4c-a6e5-91ad04e2b2f1 by NOAA’s National Ocean Service

HOW?

Recycling is broken down into three steps as follows:

Diagram of the waste hierarchy

 

  • Collecting and processing can be accomplished in several ways: some communities have curbside programs to pick up your recyclables on the street.  Others have community drop off bins that you can stop by and deliver your recycling;
  • Once its recyclate quality is established, the recyclable material will be sorted, cleaned, baled and sent to a plant to be converted to a marketable raw material;
  • Products are made with recycled raw material, returned to the market and purchased by consumers, finishing the recycling loop.

image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waste_management#/media/File:Waste_hierarchy_rect-en.svg

most common recycled materials

  • Glass
Glass recycling, 1999
Glass recycling, 1999

image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/d951f950-5ba1-4f31-9161-5bdc423b8335 by Seattle Municipal Archives

  • Plastic
Plastic octopus thrown back by the Pacific Ocean at Gray Whale Cove, California Coast, USA
Plastic octopus thrown back by the Pacific Ocean at Gray Whale Cove, California Coast

image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/3e92afe6-0429-4a01-b348-7583def21483 by Wonderlane

  •  Paper
Paper Recycling
Paper Recycling

image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/04cc7e6d-4e5f-4ac1-93f8-d6fa144de8f6 by tengrrl

  • Textiles
Lord Morrison Hall - Container 14 July 2007
Container

image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/5ec35d3f-5e98-4ead-8da1-91b9c6ed8ee8 by Alan Stanton

  • Metal

Subaru Leone 1st generation (Very unusual)

image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/256012ec-c2d9-496c-8bdc-b83e83e24822 by charles cars

  • Organics
Garbage Fail
Garbage Fail – Organics recycling

image source:https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/158ef388-37c8-4a93-a1d7-46519248b487 by Sweet One


info source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recycling#Quality_of_recyclate

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