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.

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How is the recycling of renewables not a huge pressing issue?

I don't seem to see a whole lot of discussions pertaining to the recycling of renewables which looks to be a huge issue. Turbine blades are near impossible to recycle. Solar panels are equally bad. My ...
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2 votes
0 answers
30 views

Recycling frozen food packages

I know that frozen food boxes are not supposed to be recycled because the packages have a plastic coating that interferes with recycling. However, lately I have been seeing frozen food boxes that are ...
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1 answer
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Why are soft plastics less desirable to recycle than hard plastics?

In the place where I live, hard plastics (e.g. bottles) are valued more and easier to recycle whereas soft plastics (e.g. wrappers), even of the same type (say, HDPE) are valued much less, and it's ...
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3 votes
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Why does color matter for PET recycling but not for HDPE recycling?

Why does color matter for PET recycling but not for HDPE recycling? I'm not sure about other countries, but in the place I live in the recycling plant that receives PET from recycling bins I use only ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How do they recycle in Belgium?

I came across a passing mention of a peculiar way they recycle in Belgium (it's not paywalled as you may think, use Google Scholar). They say they sort out plastic containers, cans, and tetrapaks. But ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How is recycling of plastics beneficial to the climate?

How is recycling of plastics beneficial to the climate? Using PET flakes, for example, reduces your indirect demand for oil extraction, it's good. But if you break them down to monomers during ...
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Are paper products collected and recycled separately in the US?

I don't understand this (from WARM v. 15) Most paper products are modeled as being recycled in a closed loop (e.g., old newspaper is recycled into new newspaper). Magazines/third-class mail, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
49 views

Should we recycle paper products?

Should we recycle paper products given what this paper pointed out? In "Limited climate benefits of global recycling of pulp and paper" (pdf) they write: We [...] show that additional ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the impact of ongoing research of turning plastic into proteins?

I found this story regarding ongoing research of using bacteria to turn plastic into protein: The team demonstrated that once the plastic is broken down by heat and a reactor, it can be fed to the ...
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1 answer
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Is mercury still found in modern e-waste?

Is mercury still found in modern e-waste? I need an authoritative reference, please. I did try to research it on my own, but got conflicting information.
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0 votes
1 answer
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Should I down cycle something myself instead of giving it away knowing it will end up in landfills?

I currently live in an Eastern European country where conscious consumption and recycling is uncommon. For context, I am sometimes frown upon by the cashiers when coming to a grocery store with a ...
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1 answer
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Environmental impact of vegan food packaging

I'm a vegan, and a lot of times vegan frozen food (and maybe other food) packaging can be this thick plasticy non-recycable material. Some example brand food images are the following: Morning star ...
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Detecting "old" paper in paper recycling

How can paper recyclers know how many times a given input paper has been recycled? I've read that paper can be recycled "up to 6 times." I'm imagining a paper recycling plant that gets a ton ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How can I tell if glass is soda-lime or borosilicate?

I have a few glass candle jars that I'm thinking about cleaning and recycling. But I've read that candle jars might be made from different kinds of glass, and some glass should not be recycled. Your ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Environmental impact of using an extra bag to separate out plastic vs not separating

Recently I am facing a dilemma: I am living in The Netherlands and in this area it is encouraged to separate out plastic trash for recycling. Usually my plastic trash consists of food packages and ...
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Is electric car more sustainable than gasoline car? [duplicate]

I would like to know if a batery of an eletric car is easily recyclable.
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5 votes
3 answers
220 views

Is there no such thing as "pant" in the USA or outside some European countries?

I was under the impression that this was a global phenomenon since at least 50-70 years or so, but apparently not? Basically, I went to the Swedish Wikipedia article for "Pant": https://sv....
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1 answer
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Understanding the relation between MTCE & MTCO2E

How do I convert MTCE/ton to MTCO2E/metric ton? Should I multiply it by 1.1 (ton to metric ton) and then by 3.67 (MTCE to MTCO2E)? For example, take a look at Exhibit ES5 here. Recycling aluminum cans,...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What is the recommended way to dispose of a used water filter?

I have just replaced water filters for the water filtration system recently. There are a total 5 filters. 1 of them is ceramic, the other 4 are made of other materials which could probably be opened ...
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Is UHT better for the environment even if the Tetra Paks aren't recycled

UHT is well known to be better for the environment, see e.g. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27898-so-many-milks-but-do-their-health-claims-really-stack-up/ However, our local council does not ...
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1 answer
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Why is reducing the consumption of recyclables is better than recycling recyclables?

Why is reducing the consumption of recyclables is better than recycling recyclables? Some recyclables can be recycled only a limited number of times (plastics) so I partially understand it. But other ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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How much of EV car batteries are reused/recycled? [duplicate]

If you buy an EV then the batteries last for a certain amount of years. But what happens after that? Are they recycled 100%? Are the car companies like Tesla collecting those batteries to recycle? If ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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How can I recycle when my apartment doesn't offer it?

I live in an apartment in an urban area. I would love to be able to recycle, but unfortunately, my building doesn't offer recycling as a service. I've searched for recycling facilities near me, and ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Throwing away compostable packaging

When I search about recycling compostable packaging I always find articles about recycling packages to the backyard pit etc. My question is not about that. I just want to throw compostable packaging ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Are a significant portion of electric vehicle batteries reused as grid-connected batteries?

I've heard lots of people mention that concerns about the sustainability of electric vehicles are mitigated when you consider that at end-of-life the batteries can be reused as stationary, grid ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What happens to all the shards of broken glass that get recycled?

I searched for recycling glass and there are no results. https://www.chestercountyswa.org/DocumentCenter/View/1646/New-Mixed-Paper-Guidelines?bidId= What happens with the broken glass in the recycling?...
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2 votes
2 answers
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How can I recycle an enameled cast iron dutch oven?

I have an enameled cast iron dutch oven that has become unusable due to how cracked and chipped the enamel is. I need to get rid of it, and I'd hate to throw it away because there are several pounds ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Biodegradable Food Packging

I am trying to figure out an application for a biodegradable packaging material a found out about. It is made from old or used potatoes or corn starch. I was thinking of using it in Pizza boxes to ...
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5 votes
1 answer
1k views

What plastics are safe/useful to melt?

I have seen a number of videos that talk about melting down HDPE and/or LDPE for craft projects. Some say these types of plastic are safer to some extent. I would like to do some crafts as well that ...
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3 votes
4 answers
262 views

Is there a solution for flattening/reducing the volume of plastic recyclables in the home?

I've been having issues with my indoors storage solution for plastics. Loose wrappers and containers from food products tend to take an unnecessarily large amount of space and without a way to ...
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2 votes
0 answers
28 views

Are American census bags recyclable?

Yesterday, I received my census questionnaire. So have many millions of other Americans, recently. These bags are not labeled for recycling, but are they recyclable? Can I put them in the deposits at ...
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Is there a recycled ABS that can be used for injection moulded parts?

Also if there is how is it recoloured and does it have any properties that are not as desirable as virgin ABS ? This would be better for the environment and more sustainable because it reuses plastic ...
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5 votes
3 answers
906 views

Why is so much railroad steel not recycled?

As I’ve wandered in many places, I have often encountered abandoned railways, or railways still in use surrounded by hundreds of discarded spikes. It makes sense in most places for scrapyards to be ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Can I recycle greasy metal in the US?

In the United States, I know that paper and plastic are often not recyclable if they are greasy. Can I recycle metal that has vegetable grease on it surface? I'm thinking of canisters that once ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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In what unexpected ways could human hairs be recycled or upcycled? [duplicate]

Currently, hairdressers around the world throw away tonnes of human hairs after they have given someone a new hairstyle. I know people sometimes donate their hair, which can be used to create wigs. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
262 views

Are single-use PurPod coffee pods from Ethical Bean made with PLA?

I'm purchasing "compostable" K-cup coffee pods from Ethical Bean (see attached photo) that work in Keurig single-serve coffee machines. According to their FAQ, these compostable pods are OK for the ...
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3 votes
4 answers
130 views

How can I recycle safety razor blades?

I recently switched to a safety razor because It's cheaper in the long run, even if I change blades more often disposables are a recycling nightmare - (metal bonded to plastic) Of course eventually ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Why don't mineral water cans carry a deposit label?

I've been putting in the recycling bin all our "sparkling water," "mineral water," and unflavored Canada Dry cans. But then I wondered if I could return them to the grocery store for deposits. ...
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4 votes
1 answer
151 views

Distinguishing between polyethylene and polypropylene plastic food packaging for recycling

I want to recycle as much food packaging plastic films as possible (I'm willing to clean and dry them). As far as I know, food packaging films are only made from 3 types of plastic: polyethylene (PE), ...
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6 votes
5 answers
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Is boxed wine more ecofriendly than bottled wine?

In a few weeks I'll be hosting an event and will need to purchase wine for about 30 or 40 people. For myself and my partner, I typically purchase boxed wine as it stays fresh longer (assuming the wine ...
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5 votes
3 answers
149 views

Is putting plastic in the garbage better than putting it in the recycling bin?

It has been two years since China has cracked down on importing recyclables, and it appears the U.S. has had to stockpile, incinerate, landfill, or divert most of its recyclables stream to other, less-...
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14 votes
4 answers
3k views

How can I support the recycling, but not the new production of aluminum?

While the initial production of aluminum is a waste-intensive, energy-intensive process that has negative environmental and social impact through deforestation and contamination of waterways, aluminum ...
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4 votes
2 answers
252 views

How far is too far to drive to a recycling centre?

Where we live the council collects recycling, however the quantity you can recycle each fortnight is sadly limited. When I get big cardboard boxes I keep them in the garage until I have. a pretty ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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When is cleaning recyclables less sustainable than throwing them away?

I live in the middle of the US, our tap water comes from the local river, and our sewer goes back to the local river. Communities up and down the river get their water and return their waste to the ...
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3 votes
2 answers
88 views

Should I use a plastic trash bag for my recycling bin at home or not?

I want to have a recycling bin at home in addition to a trash bin. Should I line my recycling bin with a trash bag and bag it up when it's full to toss in the dumpster's recycling bin? Or should I ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Can metal drink cans be melted at home? [duplicate]

Can metal drink cans be melted at home and reused, remoulded into something?
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2 votes
1 answer
210 views

Recycling : paper, plastic or aluminum, which one to choose, if only one?

Supposing I can focus only on one type of material to recycle, choosing from paper (card board etc), aluminum (can etc) or plastic (water bottle etc), then which choice of material will help the ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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How to sell shredded plastic in the UK?

I would like to purchase a shredding machine in order to shred plastic myself, I was wondering if there were any standards I'd need to watch out for and where I could find businesses willing to ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Uses for Sycamore tree bark?

I live near a number of parks which have very large Sycamore trees. In winter these trees naturally shed their bark. The bark tends to pile up at the bottom of the tree until, I assume, the park ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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In the UK, is it ok to recycle plastic food packaging along with carrier bags?

I live in the UK and do most of my groceries shopping online. At the same time I collect my order I can also hand back to the driver all carrier bags from my previous order (which is great). Some ...
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