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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.

6
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2answers
163 views

Recycling paper at home

What are, in your opinion or according to your direct experience, the easiest and most convenient way to recycle and re-use paper at home?
6
votes
2answers
139 views

Recycling video (VCR) tapes in the UK

Like many I have a large pile of redundant VCR tapes. We're moving house so I'm having to landfill them as the local recycling facilities won't take them. Does anyone know of a recycling (or bulk re-...
5
votes
1answer
85 views

Where can I recycle plastic caps in the US?

The city recycling bins in Denver don't allow plastic caps but some other cities do so it is possible to recycle them. Does anyone have any ideas where or how I could recycle the caps?
12
votes
2answers
146 views

How to sustainably deal with garbage?

Is it a bad idea to throw garbage down the public garbage chute? Sustainably speaking, garbage "dumps" & toxic incinerators don't seem like a sustainable method over time. Although maybe someone ...
6
votes
3answers
466 views

Composting paper versus recycling it, which one is more environment friendly?

As the title suggests, the question boils down to which one is more environment friendly? I started composting few weeks back. After reading about composting on various internet resources, I tried ...
5
votes
2answers
208 views

Is there a portable water recycling unit?

Is there a portable water recycling unit that one could install in their studio apartment to recycle grey water ? Or which is the smallest grey water recycling unit ? And can't someone just pass the ...
16
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2answers
3k views

Are incandescent light bulbs recyclable?

Can standard incandescent (i.e., non-energy-efficient) light bulbs be recycled? If so, what is the best way to recycle them?
15
votes
1answer
249 views

How do I recycle batteries in Argentina?

I have dead batteries and I want to know the best way to dispose of them, ideally by recycling. Here in Argentina there is almost nowhere to take them. We just put them in the garbage.
8
votes
1answer
992 views

What are the challenges for using carton boxes instead of plastic bottles for water?

Milk has come in carton boxes for ages, but water has not been available in cartons until very recently and only at limited locations. What are the pros and cons of using carton boxes for water ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

How is compostable plastic recycled/composted industrially?

I know that you need industrial facilities to compost compostable plastics within a reasonable timeframe. But how does this process work exactly? How long does it take? Is it simply a matter of doing ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

How safe it is to produce, use, and dispose of PVC?

Environmental benefits of PVC are touted on what appears to be an industry funded website but there is also some serious criticism of PVC claiming that the manufacture produces dioxin and that ...
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?
5
votes
3answers
476 views

What does it take to stop the use of plastic bags in big grocery stores?

Many people do their weekly groceries at large supermarkets and consume a lot of plastic bags. However, given the fact that I already know that I am going to buy a-week worth of food and supplies what ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Why do we think of biodegradable plastic as recycled and sustainable?

I look at the questions here and see what is taught to us by the mainstream propaganda: non-degradable plastic is unsustainable and, thus, we must prefer the biodegradable one. But let us consider the ...
15
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5answers
5k views

Can you recycle single serve coffee pods like K-Cups?

Are they recyclable at all? can you pull them apart and recycle parts of them? Are there recyclable alternatives? Many offices including mine are using these to brew coffee in the USA. I personally ...
10
votes
1answer
65 views

Source for comparison of garbage companies sustainability efforts?

I am looking for a source for info on how effective their recycling programs are, how much gas they use based on spread of trucks to garages, their greening efforts etc. I live in New York, so even ...
7
votes
1answer
941 views

How sustainable is Tokyo's city-wide garbage separation and recycling programs?

I'm using the example of Tokyo, Japan, as it is a massive megacity and also, from personal experience having lived there for 4 years. Not only are the public rubbish bins across the city segregated ...
8
votes
1answer
91 views

Are mobile phone recycling programs keeping pace with the rate of phone upgrades? A global perspective

Mobile phones (or cellphones) are developing very fast, it almost seems that every time an advertisement comes on - it shows yet a new upgraded version of the phone that is in use. This applied to ...
9
votes
4answers
304 views

What is a feasible method to recycle parts of a broken laptop?

Laptops are ubiquitous, but like most consumer electronics, they have a failing - they quite simply, fail. The 'normal' thing to do, is to take the memory out and simply throw out the rest - I find ...
5
votes
1answer
485 views

Is the cardboard from a firework box recyclable?

Firework boxes seem to have a thin layer of metal foil on the outside, presumable to assist in fireproofing. Does this mean they can't be easily recycled? There are probably some differences in ...
10
votes
2answers
143 views

To which container do the cotton things belong?

I have a problem what to do with used cotton clothing (socks etc.). I live in Germany, I have the following choices glass - obviously not the case paper - could cotton be converted into maculature? ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

Reusing, recycling or disposal of used or expired cooking oil

I have found the article How to Dispose of Cooking Oil where are these suggestions: reuse: filter and put into a freezer or a fridge for later reuse different purpose reuse: lava lamp, snow shovel ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Composting teabags?

I have a problem during waste segregation with a small, but often used product, namely teabags. It's a bit of organic matter wrapped in paper, with a thread and staple. The organic part is easy - it ...
13
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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. ...
9
votes
1answer
176 views

Is “100 percent recycled super white paper” greener than paper made of trees?

I've got used to the idea that very white office paper (usable for office printing for example) is always made of cropped trees while paper made of recycled materials is always grayish and so is not ...
14
votes
1answer
22k views

Can carbon fibre be recycled?

Over time the range of products using carbon fibre appears to be increasing. Carbon by itself is probably quite environmentally friendly, but manufacturing of carbon fibre is probably quite expensive ...
11
votes
1answer
8k views

How to recycle paper with ink on it?

In my work and study, I have a lot of printouts - many of which re drafts and redrafts. Is there are a way to recycle printed paper (standard printer paper) without using harsh chemicals and minimal ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

How to filter/dewater water mixed with water-based paint

PROBLEM I would like to find the best way to filter 2 cubic meters of water which is full of water-based paint. This water is used in a closed-loop circuit in a Spray booth. The water does not need ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

How can glass be recycled/reused locally in rural communities?

I live in a "remote" part of the USA, where it is prohibitively expensive to ship glass elsewhere for recycling. Because of the small population (the nearest city over 10k people is 110 miles away), ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Does waste in public recycle bins (almost) always get recycled?

Dumping recyclable cups (when you forgot your own, or it's dirty) in the public recycle bins seems like an easy decision. But, I've noticed that the recycle bins at places like Starbucks are ...
10
votes
2answers
164 views

printer cartridge recycling

What should I do with my Samsung ML-1640? I see on the internet that toners may be incompatible with printers and Samsung "protects" us from bad quality by expiring their cartridges electronically (...
6
votes
1answer
217 views

Recycled and Used Fashion

After four years living in San Francisco, I'm really feeling the urge to update my wardrobe. I've never been much of a fashionista, but that's partly because of the damage I assumed caused to the ...
8
votes
6answers
106 views

Getting rid of label glue

I up-cycled a glass liquor bottle into a drinking glass (by means of scoring, heat-shocking, and polishing). What I'm left with is a lovely glass with some very stubborn label glue on it. How can I ...
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....
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it ok to recycle glass bottles and jars with paper stickers on them?

It's kind of hard to remove paper labels glued onto glass bottles and jars, especially if you have a lot of them. Does leaving them on cause a problem in recycling the glass? Does it require a lot ...
23
votes
4answers
5k views

How to recover water from washing machine for toilet

In the last years I have been very concerned about the incredible waste of water from washing machine that could be easily used for toilet use, but up to now I have not found an easy way apart from ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Can you vermicompost biodegradable plastics?

I'm looking for a way to recycle biodegradable plastics myself and I was thinking about putting them in my wormery. Does anyone have experience with vermicomposting biodegradable plastics? Is it safe ...
18
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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
1answer
80 views

Recycling items from another country

When I travel to Japan, I occasionally bring back a few items with me (not an awful lot), and they have recyclable containers. Most commonly, I have items categorized as plastic: (Image from http://...
12
votes
3answers
150 views

Reusing buckets for flower pots?

Is reusing old food buckets as flower pots actually a good sustainability practice or a bad one since I'm ruining good buckets by poking holes in the bottoms? I get the buckets for free from my ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Should I reuse or recycle Ziploc bags?

I'm wondering whether I should wash and reuse my Ziploc bags or if it makes more ecological sense to bring them to a grocery store plastic recycling collection bin. Ideally at home we wash the bags ...
14
votes
1answer
337 views

What type of photovoltaic cells are the most environmentally friendly?

Some solar panels use silicon crystals that required careful purification and enormous quantities of energy. Some types use cadmium, which is highly toxic. Several types are noted by Wikipedia. If we ...
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
60 views

Are there any hard numbers on energy spent on recycling?

I have heard arguments that the energy spent recycling some materials eclipses the energy spent gathering and working raw materials into new products. I can see how this is possible but without hard ...
22
votes
5answers
17k views

How should I collect and convert rain water into drinking water?

I would like to convert my current rain gutter system into a collection and recycling process. Currently the water is just runoff and ends up in the storm sewer creating more work for my cities aging ...
17
votes
1answer
142 views

Long-term sustainability concerns of compact flourescent vs incandescent light bulbs

There is a strong movement to push people away from using incandescent lightbulbs in favor of compact flourescent bulbs in order to save energy, but the pollution profiles of these bulbs are very ...
57
votes
5answers
10k views

Which is more sustainable: aluminium can, plastic bottle or glass bottle?

I was wondering which drink container is the most sustainable one, when looking at the big picture (complete life cycle analysis). So far, I can see the few following points: Transport: plastic and ...
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 ...
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 ...