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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5
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2answers
5k views

How can we dispose or recycle hair clippings from barber shops?

Near by my home there are barber shops where they throw hair clippings in the dustbin and when the contents are burned it gives a bad smell. How I can suggest them to properly dispose or recycle the ...
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0answers
122 views

Building a boat - out of recyclables [closed]

Looking for ideas to make a boat out of mostly recycled material. Two idea's that come to mind is cardboard and use weather sealer on it, and caulking the edges or plastic bottles, jugs, and the like ...
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2answers
195 views

Are there any self sustainable sanitation solutions for remote and underdeveloped areas?

My organization wants to install toilets and some kind of recycling method in remote underdeveloped areas. The installments should be suitable for hilly and mountainous terrain. Since the area we ...
6
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1answer
294 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 ...
5
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1answer
916 views

What are the five most widely used consumer products made of recycled plastic?

By most widely used I mean in terms of sales annually (worldwide). With consumer products I follow the definition found on the BusinessDictionary, referring to merchandise or other item of common or ...
5
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3answers
287 views

Recycling plastic food tubs that have no resin identification code?

In my local council (I live in the UK), one category of confirmed recyclables is "plastic bottles, pots, tubs & trays". But surely not all plastic tubs can be recycled? Some of the plastic tubs I ...
6
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3answers
659 views

How difficult would it be to make things out of glass at home, using a solar reflector?

With a solar reflector/concentrator that was a square metre or two in size, I would expect it would be possible to get temperatures high enough to melt glass, even if only for a small sized object. ...
6
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2answers
1k views

How can corrugated cardboard from packaging be compacted for storage before recycling?

A 1500+ employees company is trying to be greener and instead of throwing cardboard packaging out it sends it for recycling. Recycling company won't accept less than several dozen kilograms of ...
15
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4answers
12k 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 ...
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2answers
2k views

Is there a way to melt down plastic lenses used for eyewear?

I'm looking to recycle used eyewear plastic lenses for a sculpture. I want to try to manipulate the plastic to give it a more organic look. I'm also concerned about toxic fumes, so I want to find the ...
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2answers
12k 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 ...
7
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3answers
528 views

When buying beer is refilling growlers better than recycling bottles and cans?

I'm trying to decide if it's worth buying all my beer in reusable growlers (32-64 oz. / 0.9-1.9 liter reusable glass containers). I live in New York, so doing so requires me to go out of my way but is ...
7
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1answer
593 views

Does burning used motor oil to generate heat on-site have a lower impact than sending it for recycling?

The service station next to my office saves the used oil from oil changes to burn in a special heater in the colder months. It is my understanding that used motor oil can be recycled in a number of ...
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3answers
4k 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 ...
8
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1answer
358 views

How much of paper gets recycled?

I am a grad student who can't stand reading pdfs on a laptop. Combined with my minor ADD, I always end up on reddit or stackexchange websites wasting time. Also, when I present my research to my ...
4
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1answer
3k views

When are manufacturers required to mark products and packaging with recycling codes?

I just purchased a consumer product. It was packaged in a clear plastic 'disposable' container. This shipping container is not marked in any way. There is no material designation or recycling code ...
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2answers
521 views

How to dispose of coated paper take-out container

I have a paper-based take-out container from a restaurant take-home meal: The inside is lined with some waterproof coating. I can't tell if it is wax or plastic. "Please recycle this container", it ...
6
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1answer
2k views

How to best dispose of a plant-based 100% compostable plastic ECO-CUP?

I would like to dispose of a plastic cup: Bottom view: Markings on the cup say: 100% COMPOSTABLE & BIODEGRADABLE MADE FROM 100% RENEWABLE RESOURCE ECO-CUP® Made from plant NatureWorks® Type 7 ...
6
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1answer
4k views

In general, is cardboard with a plastic coating acceptable for recycling?

Many children's toys and other items come with a box or package made of cardboard with a thin plastic coating. How does this affect the recycling process? Can paper recycling facilities generally ...
3
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2answers
1k views

One big container vs multiple small containers

I use Fage yogurt as an example, but if possible, I'd like a general answer that can apply to products that are similarly packaged (ice cream tubs, detergent, etc.). Assume the consumer consumes 1kg ...
12
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4answers
920 views

Why the tiny input openings on recycle bins?

My local recycling bins look somewhat like these: As you can see, the opening can facilitate a single item at a time. How is one supposed to dump a large sack of plastic packages in the plastics bin? ...
14
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5answers
318 views

How 'clean' should something be for recycling?

Outside my apartment, there are 3 rubbish bins. One for glass, another for metals, paper and plastics and a third without a label, for bio-waste I guess. So I wonder what are some guidelines for when ...
18
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1answer
643 views

Are rechargeable batteries better for the environment than disposables even if the batteries are recycled?

I try to use NiMH rechargeables in place of regular disposables. The obvious benefit of rechargeables is that not as many wind up in a landfill, but what if you recycle all your batteries anyway? Are ...
7
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1answer
181 views

Is recycling cell batteries (highly) profitable?

Recently I've heard of people in our region (central Europe) traveling around to buy used button cell batteries of all sizes and types for a moderate price. Thinking about the price, the batteries can ...
17
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2answers
260 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 ...
12
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2answers
219 views

What's the most sustainable way of disposing with a used battery?

We are advised by our various governments that the most environmentally-friendly way to dispose of a battery is to give it in to a designated battery recycling plant. But could the process of doing ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Repurposing polystyrene packaging material as ceiling insulation; safety and techniques

I'm aware there are fire safety and other regulations that ensure the various types of ceiling insulation on the market are safe to use. If I was to cut unwanted polystyrene packaging material into a ...
7
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2answers
21k views

Do #4 (♶ LDPE) plastic bags need to be recycled at grocery stores like #2 (♴ HDPE) plastic bags?

Many recycling programs don't accept #2 (♴ - high-density polyethylene - HDPE) plastic bags (only #2 rigid plastic). Does the same apply to #4 (♶ - low-density polyethylene - LDPE) plastic? I've ...
17
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1answer
9k views

Where can I recycle #81 composite materials?

I noticed my pet food bag has a recycling symbol with a new number in it, #81: The only resource I've found about this symbol is the Wikipedia page on recycling codes, which describes it as Paper/...
6
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2answers
189 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
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2answers
145 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
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1answer
93 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
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2answers
153 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 ...
8
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3answers
569 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 ...
7
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2answers
259 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 ...
17
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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?
16
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1answer
275 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.
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1answer
1k 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 ...
12
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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
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1answer
102 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 ...
12
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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?
6
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3answers
491 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 ...
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5answers
6k 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
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1answer
68 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
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1answer
980 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 ...
9
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1answer
95 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
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4answers
323 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
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2answers
701 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
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2answers
148 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? ...