Recycling of materials – some myths …

Its a good thing re-cycling / recovery of household waste is in action… BUT there are some oustanding errors in its application.

  • A neighbour of mine likes to wash out and screw tight his empty plastic water and pop bottles, these are biggies and when their bin blew over in the wind they scattered all over and rolled effortlessly all onto the busy road. Stupidly I risked my neck and managed to retrieve quite a few. It dawned on me, the collection lorry will be driving away with a hopper full of air and the crushing pressure must be quite absurd, ie perfect round cylinders super-slippery defying compaction. How bloody stupid. Once crushed and capped before binning so much easier and efficient for the recycling journey.
  • At the Council waste site, cars drive in with their goodies, a wine bottle, a small cardboard box, hence huge skips get loaded with uncompacted cardboard boxes and others with uncompacted garden waste. Last week at the local bottle bank theres a Bentley delivering his bagful of bottles … how jarring in some ways. Big lorries arrive etc etc all are contractors at God knows how much an hour to cart away huge steel containers containing more air than items ….. stupid ! And if as happened a few years ago I try to retrieve a say triple wall cardboard box for sending goods export I get my nuts chewed off, in a most nasty manner. Oh yes and same operative drives a Porsche …… we can only assume he is doing his own ‘recycling’.
  • Realise lots of this recycling from the UK ends up the other side of the world, follow that item in your mind, imagine the price tag this carries in its transportation and how it ends up possibly dumped or discarded.
  • bbc r4 had a programe at the weekend (Sat 27th October 2018 5:30 pm) ‘The Bottom Line’ re plastics recycling, apart from its irritating format and Gavin snickering into his too closely miked gob as seems to be the format not once was the distinction made between thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics. This is a fundamental ‘your first minute’ in any materials lesson. One can be recovered and recycled ie reformed remoulded and the other most certainly CAN NOT ie resin based composites such carbon fibre such as wind farm components, glass fibre circuit boards, phenolics…. these will merely blacken, smoulder and char.

I never buy new electronics, in previous decades my tv and audio have all been donated or rescued from the skip site but of course now retrieving a likely audio set up is a mighty dangerous act, even an offence (to recycle as a functioning item) … again… how shortsighted!

It irritates how the bbc now wants me to log in to access their ‘listen again’ facility, something i now unfortunately never bother with, another loony change for the worst. Heres the link for the above prog cited …. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000t55

 

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