Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [recycling]

using materials that would otherwise be waste to manufacture new materials. For questions specifically on [upcycling] use that tag, for questions on [reuse] use that tag.

9
votes
4answers
266 views

Why should we bother to recycle household waste if it's only a small portion of all waste that is generated?

For the past two months, I have been investing some attention and effort in taking care of setting aside all my dry waste in my room's bin. I wish to separate the recyclable ones and the unrecyclable ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

Recycling with stickers

So many of our products have stickers/tape on them, i.e. boxes, glass and plastic. I have been removing stickers/tape from boxes (except amazons recyclable tape) but do I need to be doing this for ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Large-scale reuse of glass bottles

Reading some comments on the question comparing various materials from which bottles are made, the thought arose: indeed, what prevents large scale collection and reuse of glass tare? When I was ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Would it be possible to recycle all plastic into bricks and use them for building or insulation?

I've had this idea for a few years and wonder if it would be feasible. Rather than simply recycling bottles and bags in blue bins, if there could be a way to melt down all types of plastic and mold ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

Is there an efficient way to dispose of credit cards?

I have about 10 credit cards which I ended up not using for various reasons and I feel bad for having to throw them away in the trash, this is the case for many other things, but seems quite ...
5
votes
2answers
122 views

Understanding how bottle recycling works in Germany

I am new in Germany, and I am failing in recycling, thus I couldn't help but posting here, asking for help, let me know if this is off-topic! My bottles are: Plastic bottle of orange juice Glass ...
5
votes
1answer
68 views

How can bath tissue be both “100% recycled” and “50% post-consumer recycled material”?

While shopping for bath tissue at the store today I saw Seventh Generation brand with this information on the label: Seventh Generation 100% recycled bath tissue minimum 50% post-consumer recycled ...
11
votes
3answers
133 views

Is it better to put something potentially unrecyclable in the recycling bin or to put something recyclable in the waste bin?

This may sound like a weird question, but the other night I was about to throw away a plastic package which didn't have any recycling information on it, and I hesitated before throwing it in the waste ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Can garbage trucks crush empty but closed plastic bottles?

Empty plastic bottles are often dumped carelessly without being flattened but the cap on. I assume no human can flatten such a 1.5l bottle (see example image), but can a garbage truck? I want to ...
8
votes
3answers
77 views

How can ceramics be recycled?

How can ceramics be recycled? Does the answer vary greatly depending on glaze or other factors, and if so, how can those factors be determined (i.e. how can I tell if a glaze contains lead or not)? ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

How can I easily tell which plastics are Biodegradable? [duplicate]

How can I easily tell which plastics are Biodegradable and which are not?
3
votes
1answer
29 views

Are foam netting sleeves recyclable?

I am wondering if foam netting sleeves that are often used to protect glass bottles in transport (see picture) can be recycled in a soft plastic stream? (like RedCycle in Australia)
37
votes
14answers
82k views

What is the most sustainable way to dispose of shoes?

About once every year or two I come to the point where I have to part with the shoes I've bonded with over my day in day out walks to work, the market, around the block yada yada. Trust me I wear my ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

What is the environmental impact of recycling beverage containers, by material?

I just read the article "Oregon Launches First Statewide Refillable Bottle System In U.S.". Discussing the environmental impact of this system, the article says: Until that facility [in Portland, ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

Why is recycling (or trash collection) not a government subsidized or ran project? [closed]

The government (specifically the US, and by governemnt I mean local, state, and federal) is responsible for many public works, social welfare programs, and public safety projects that span locally to ...
13
votes
4answers
6k views

Are used “blister packs” recyclable?

Now, in management of recurring everyday waste, this is something totally unavoidable. Are tablet strips (what they call blister pack strips), after use, recyclable? Can they be dumped with dry ...
3
votes
2answers
79 views

Rough cost-benefit of stopping car to recycle batteries

I use up batteries (both recyclable and not) at an exceedingly slow rate. Stockpiling batteries for proper disposal is not realistic as I will do so for years, if not decades. All the more so, since I ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

What are crisp packets made from?

What are crisp packets made from, specifically Tyrrells or Walkers. I am doing a school project on single use plastic crisp packets. I am finding it difficult to find information online.
6
votes
0answers
67 views

Are any large restaurant chains pursuing better alternatives to recyclable packaging?

Yesterday Kraft Foods announced that by 2025 all of its packaging will be recyclable. (Note that while they include "reusable" and "compostable" in the announcement, they talk almost exclusively about ...
6
votes
1answer
208 views

What is current best practice for setting up recycling?

I'm interested in public policy as regards recycling. I recently read an interesting Atlantic article on single-stream recycling, which noted that single-stream certainly makes it as easy as possible ...
37
votes
4answers
2k views

Are pizza cardboards stained with oil still recyclable?

I was told some months ago that paper and cardboard recycling processes need clean raw material. In particular, paper stained with oil may be inappropriate to recycle, and should rather be thrown away....
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Dishwasher or paper plates: which are worse?

After running the dishwasher last night it struck he how much energy it must consume: from heating large amounts of water to the motorized pumps and spinners to the heated plate drying. Then there's ...
6
votes
5answers
151 views

How to sustainably dispose of or break down used cooking oils?

I have recently wondered what I should be doing with my used kitchen oils having seen a news article about an enormous fatberg clogging the sewer in London. Obviously putting it down the sink really ...
14
votes
2answers
104 views

Does transporting plastic offset the benefits of recycling it?

Apparently China has been processing about half the world's waste until this year, and most of that waste is transported over the ocean in large container ships. Recycling plastic uses less energy and ...
7
votes
2answers
404 views

Can mesh produce bags be recycled?

Sometimes produce is packaged in mesh bags, such as the bag of oranges shown below. What are these bags made of, and can they be recycled? If they cannot be recycled, can we do something else with ...
19
votes
2answers
284 views

Can solar panels be recycled?

There are plenty solar panels installed in the recent years. Their operation expectancy as far as I know is about 50 yrs. This will produce waste for our grandchildren. Please, reassure me, that these ...
14
votes
3answers
10k views

How to properly dispose of bubble wrap envelopes?

In those envelopes paper is often glued pretty well to bubble wrap portion, making it hard to separate. On top of that bubble wrap itself is seldom recycled - for example in my area of Ontario, Canada ...
3
votes
4answers
131 views

What isn't recyclable or compostable?

My community has single-bin recycling. Most consumer-level metal, plastic, and paper can go in there to be sorted at a recycling center. They don't take plastic grocery bags, cellophane, paper towels, ...
7
votes
1answer
827 views

Environmental impact of using paper towels for hand drying

At work, I have noticed a staggering level of paper towel usage and it's disheartening to see it getting wasted, even though hand dryers are installed in all rest rooms. I plan to propose reducing the ...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

Is there any useful recycling of fibreglass boats or other products made of it?

Lifetime is running out for a large number of fibreglass boats produced about 50 years ago. Many shipyards where they have been produced do no longer exist and last users frequently do not have the ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I recycle a disposable lighter?

I have been collecting lately disposable lighters as these: I want to recycle them but I don't know exactly what I should do. Should I separate the metallic and plastic parts and recycle them ...
10
votes
2answers
9k views

Can plastic with only the Japanese recycling symbol be recycled in the US?

I bought a vacuum cleaner that came wrapped in several plastic bags. The bags only have one recycling code printed on them, the Japanese pura māku: Can these bags be recycled with ♴ or ♶ plastic film ...
5
votes
1answer
51 views

Can I recycle waxy cardboard (in Greater Vancouver)?

Does anyone know what to do with these containers? Even though some of them are labelled "#3 Please recycle this container" I'm quite sure they can't be put with mixed paper or cardboard recycling ...
13
votes
2answers
680 views

When recycling paper or cardboard, what level of contamination with (food) oils is ok?

It's widespread knowledge that paper or cardboard contaminated with oil can cause problems in the recycling process, and an often stated rule is that contaminated material should not be recycled. ...
3
votes
1answer
455 views

Recycling soda stream cannisters in Australia?

My wife and I have a bunch of random broken things from our previous lives that we're trying to get rid of correctly. One of them is a few left over soda stream canisters. Many recycling centers in ...
7
votes
1answer
723 views

How many times can plastic be recycled?

This answer to another question brought up the point that "recycling" of plastic is often more accurately "downcycling." From Wikipedia: Downcycling, also referred to as cascading, describes the ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

Innovative design solutions to increase recycling rates among university students

I have an assignment to research innovate design solutions to increase recycling rates, in particular recycling rates among university students. I've found an excellent research report on topic (but ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

How can I form heat sinks from waste aluminum?

I am designing a thermo-electric generation system that would generate electricity from the heat of my wood stove. The active components are bismuth telluride TEG cells that use the Seebeck effect in ...
3
votes
2answers
85 views

How to recycle almond shells?

I have seen this related question - but it was about the almond peels and not their shells: How do I recycle these? My relatives advised me to burn it all up, as it drives away mosquitoes[citation ...
12
votes
2answers
12k views

Why can't black plastic be recycled?

My local council now takes most types of plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays in the recycling bin. But they specifically exclude black plastic containers. Is there a reason for this? Why can't ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Who re-uses used but still good florescent aquarium light tubes?

I have 50 used, full-spectrum aquarium bulbs, which are still good, but not strong enough to support aquarium plant growth. Probably still very good for helping people with seasonal affective disorder....
14
votes
1answer
156 views

Are Tetra Pak tomatoes more sustainable than tinned?

Lots of UK supermarkets have recently started selling chopped tomatoes in Tetra Paks, rather than the tins they were always in. My first thought was that this was environmentally bad - given recycling ...
3
votes
0answers
70 views

Environmental benefit of recycling small cables from electronics and holiday mini lights?

For electronics, I've watched some online videos explaining commercial shredding operations and some home based scrapper videos showing how they strip insulation from common household electrical ...
7
votes
1answer
139 views

What is this candy wrapper made of? Solely plastic or mixed with something else?

I am an avid recycler - whenever I get the chance to recycle, I do it. The only problem is, I can't mix materials when recycling. I want to recycle the following: It's wrapping for candy - in this ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Is going paperless really that much better for the environment [duplicate]

Say you want to read some document, like an newspaper article, If you read it online you still have to power a screen, which is powered by a computer or mobile device, which these days are becoming ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “reduce reuse recycle” actually mean?

What does the slogan/sticker "reduce reuse recycle" mean? Some people seem to use it as a list of options, others as a hierarchy. But the symbol is of a cycle, so is the order really important?
7
votes
1answer
133 views

To what extent (if any) are electric vehicle batteries recyclable?

Are there any existing procedures for the recycling of electric vehicle car batteries, and if so what are they? In particular I'm interested in those used in the Volkswagen E-Golf, though general ...
37
votes
5answers
17k views

Is it better to recycle or compost brown paper bags?

When you go to the grocery store, you may get brown paper bags. These can be readily recycled, however, they could also be composted. I would think that recycling requires energy, whereas composting ...
24
votes
4answers
381 views

Is it sustainable or necessary to use potable water to wash waste before recycling?

I live in a major metropolitan area in the United States, and we have a municipal recycling pick-up program. They advise us to wash food containers prior to putting them in our bins, and if an item ...
13
votes
3answers
10k views

What is the relationship between recycling and sustainability?

What are the sound reasons (let's put aside the unsound reasons) why increasing recycling is taken to improve sustainability (or equivalently to reduce unsustainability)? Are there real-world ...