How does recycling work exactly? #ExplainThis?

What should I throw out? Which bins? Good question! The environment is important but what to do with our wastes? So in today's question we are asking about recycling!


77 Answers

  • Kai
    Lv 7
    6 years ago
    Favourite answer

    A LOT depends on how your recycling company works. For many years, my municipal recycling co. only took plastics with certain PET (something like that) numbers on them, newspapers had to be bound by twine or in a paper grocery bag, glossy magazine (including those that came in the Sunday papers) went into a separate paper bag, all glass went into another, cans went into another. Now, we just dump them all into the bin and the recycling co. does the sorting. Food stuff goes into the compost bin (and you can also put plain, non-adulterated paper, paper egg cartons--anything that will compost. Everything else goes into landfill trash. At the plant, the recycling collected goes onto conveyor belts and the employees sort through real fast picking out plastics, picking out glass, etc. and making big piles (kind of forklift trucks come by when the piles get high and haul it away. If you rent a dumpster, you just dump anything (except toxins like paint or oils or acids or like that) in the box and the trash company sorts through it all, any clothing or housewears that are still usable get sent to charities, etc. Way back when we had to the sorting, the trash company would actually rebate money each month to the subscribers (we who paid for trash pick up), it wasn't more than a few bucks but it encouraged us. Now though, you pay for the trash bin pick up, the compost pick up, the recycling pick up--a minimum of 3 cans no matter what, even if you don't make any garbage you have to pay. Kind of monopoly and it feels very...Mafia. Of course, no one who decided about all this trash stuff didn't take into consideration that it increases the vermin problems. We've never had so many flies in the warmer weather. We also had to install doors so the raccoons, opossums and other critters. I think all this recycling is good and right, but someone(s) is making a lot of money off our backs and that feels all wrong.

  • hribar
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    How Does Recycling Work

  • 6 years ago

    . U.S. lags FAR behind. The don 't teach the kids squat and they don 't give a rats *ss whether we recycle or not. It only became available in our community a few months ago - pathetic. We could have paid $45 per month just for recycle picks in the last year or so but, that is abusive and I did not buy into. I think few people did because only recently, they realized people were not that stupid and stopped charging us. After all, they are paid when they sell it. The waste company (or city) supplies you with a box and they tell you what they accept for recycling. The basics are glass, paper, cardboard and tin cans (aluminum cans, etc), You put all that stuff in the recycle bin, as opposed to the garbage bin. They pick it up and they sell it to a recycling company that separates the glass from the paper, etc. They process it and we have done our part. Instead of glass going into a huge dumping ground, it is recycled into counter tops, bottles, jars, etc. Recycled paper goes back into paper products. It means fewer trees need to be cut down. Why fill up the ground with glass and paper, etc. when it can easily and profitably be recycled.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I go to a private skl with huge fees but they said recycling was too expensive. The classes complained for years and after a new teacher took on getting recycling as a personal project she found that the council will actually pay to take away recycling. Our skl recycling bins now fill up quick and the skl gains money in the process. Maybe this is an idea for the hospital?

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  • 6 years ago

    There is a great penn and teller episode on recycling. I highly suggest you look for it on youtube. Basically recycling does not work well at all. Unless you are recycling cans.

    Reusing is a better concept, but when it comes to stuff like recycling paper or plastic or glass, we end up using more resourced to recycle them then we actually save.

  • 6 years ago

    recycling is basically stuff get a second life and does notend up in a landfill or not floating away in theocean or river. Making new things requires lots of energy and pollutes. generally most thing recycled generates less of a carbon footprint. Recycling clothes and appliances via donating through thrift shops is pollution free and cheaper for the next person buying that item.

    Lastly, recycling is a 7/24 job and every bit helps in today's throw away society

  • 6 years ago

    "exactly" depends on the material, and what facilities are available in your location.

    Scrap steel and other metals can be melted down and used in the manufacture of new steel. Scrap paper can be de-inked and used in the production of new pulp. Plastics can be ground up and used as pellet feedstock for new materials, such as some fabrics, or crudely shredded and melted into items such as industrial picnic tables. Electronic items are often disassembled and processed to extract gold (often in unsafe and polluting conditions in third-world countries).

    One problem is that the quality of recyclate tends to degrade on successive passes, so can not be used to manufacture items of the original quality. Fibres in paper get shorter, metals become contaminated with impurities, the costs of separating plastics are too great so the recycled mixture cannot be used for structural elements.

    Recycling is usually more about controlling waste rather than saving resources - cities may have to pay a lot of money to move trash to a landfill miles away, which has to be carefully constructed to avoid environmental contamination, so reducing the amount of waste by recycling becomes economic, even if it costs more than the recycled material is worth.

  • 6 years ago

    It's a huge scam............where I live in Italy.......they supply 5 different recycling bins.........which, in the first place, most can't be bothered with and don't seperate, at all.....and just chuck bags of mixed garbage in all 5 bins. Then the truck comes, and dumps all 5 dumpsters in the same truck.

    Then some tv show, exposes where these trucks take the stuff out to some dump........and then just dumps in a landfill. But if they catch me not sorting........they give me a fine and ticket , of coursre.

    It's all rubbish.

  • 6 years ago

    Different cities have different plans. I know in my city glass is hard to recycle. Our recycle plan doesn't require sorting so much. They do that once it reaches the processing plant for recycled material. I just make sure the plastic is clean and the cans are smooth without lids and bundle all my paper.

    I do find that my neighbors have a hard time with this as I have had to go through the recycle can left for us to use at my apartment complex to get rid of fast food containers with food still in them and the plastic grocery shopping bags.

    You have to look at some plastics for the triangle with the little number printed in it to see what the plastic rating is for recycling.

    I try not to eat out as much. Cooking at home is economical and friendly for the environment. I reuse as much as possible and for inner city people you can still compost in small cans. I just add it to planters in my complex.

  • 6 years ago

    Recycling Makes Sense

    According to El Universal newspaper of Caracas, Venezuela, recycling aluminum cans saves 90 percent of the energy used to make new cans. Recycling paper also makes ecological sense. Fifty percent less energy is used to recycle paper than is used to produce new paper, water pollution is reduced by 58 percent, and air pollution is cut by 74 percent. Glass fares even better because it can be recycled totally, over and over.

    A Swedish study shows that the cost of the energy (from oil and other sources) needed to recycle basic materials is usually far less than the cost of the energy required to process them from raw materials in the first place. For example, the study said that with the same amount of energy one could recycle 50 percent more paper, twice as much steel, three times as much aluminum, and up to five times as much of some plastics. An American study confirmed the conclusions

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