At All Green Electronics Recycling, we are proud of our services, but they would be meaningless without individuals caring and spreading awareness. Recycling is an important facet in our battle against climate change and environmental sustainability, and with proper knowledge spreading awareness can be easy.
Recycling PlasticsTypes of plasticAny product made of plastic will come with a much recognized universal symbol that describes the type of plastic used for the product. There are seven different categories of plastics and six correspond to a unique type of plastic. In 1988, the Society of the Plastic Industry developed this categorization of plastics in hopes to simplify the process of recycling plastics.
- Type 1
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET, PETE)
Uses: Soft drink, water and salad dressing bottles; peanut butter, and jam jars.
- Type 2
High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Uses: Water pipes; Hula-Hoop (children’s game) rings; milk, juice, and water bottles; the occasional shampoo / toiletry bottle.
- Type 3
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Uses: Juice bottles; cling films; PVC piping.
- Type 4
Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
Frozen food bags; squeezable bottles, e.g. honey, mustard; cling films; flexible container lids.
- Type 5
Uses: Reusable microwaveable ware; kitchenware; yogurt containers; margarine tubs; microwaveable disposable take-away containers; disposable cups; Legos, and plates.
- Type 6
Uses: Egg cartons; packing peanuts; disposable cups, plates, trays, and cutlery; disposable take-away containers.
- Type 7
Other (often polycarbonate or ABS)
Uses: Beverage bottles; baby milk bottles; electronic casing.
The Process of Recycling Plastics
There are three prevalent techniques used in the process of recycling plastics. These techniques vary because of the complexity involved in making and recycling plastics.
- Monomer Recycling
The monomer recycling is the most used technique. The process takes advantage of the prior categorization and sorting of plastic products. Once the plastics are separated by type, different chemicals are used to break the plastic down to its base compounds, eventually reaching a purity level acceptable in the reuse of the plastic
- Thermal Depolymerization
The thermal depolymerization process skips the sorting aspect with the end goal being to turn the plastic back to its petrol base.
- Heat Compression
The heat compression technique is similar to the thermal depolymerization technique in that sorting is not needed. Large tumblers are used to melt the plastics together, readying them for reuse.
Facts on Recycling Plastics
In recent years the number of plastic recyclers has tripled.
1,600 businesses are involved in the use of post consumer plastics
In 2008, 2.4 billion pounds of plastic were recycled.
Recycling glass is simpler than recycling plastics. Typically glass that is recycled comes in the form of bottles and jars rather than windows or Pyrex bowls because of the chemical mixtures in said glass. In Europe, glass is less likely to be recycled because refillable bottles are used exclusively. In the U.S., glass is exclusively recycled.
Types of Recyclable Glass
Food, beverage, beer, liquor, and wine bottles.
Wine and beer bottles
Beer and liquor bottles
The Process of Recycling Glass
After glass reaches a recycling center, it is separated by color due to chemical incompatibility. At this point, the glass is crushed into tiny pieces and at times, bits of plastics, metals, and labels are mixed with the glass. Magnets are used to sort the glass. Once the glass is sorted, it is then mixed with silica sand, soda ash, and limestone. The batch is then placed in a furnace and melted to easily reform the glass to any product.
Facts on Recycling Glass
Every ton of glass recycled saves an additional 315 lbs of carbon dioxide that would have polluted the atmosphere.
Glass is 100% recyclable.
America recycles nearly 13 million glass jars and bottles a day.
Recycling MetalsScrap metal is the most prevalently recycled material. Aluminum cans might come to mind at first, but steel is the most recycled material in the world. Other metals to consider are copper, nickel, silver, and gold.
- Ferrous Metals
Ferrous metals are metals that contain iron such as steel, iron, and other alloys
- Non-ferrous Metals
Non-ferrous metals are metals that do not contain iron, most notably aluminum. It also includes the other metals listed above.
Process of Recycling Aluminum
When aluminum cans are collected at the recycler, no sorting is necessary. Eventually the cans are shredded into small chips and sent to the furnace. The molten aluminum can be reused for any product and is indistinguishable from its original.
Process of Recycling Steel and Other Metals
Recycling steel is very similar to the process of recycling aluminum. Many metals have very minute amount of contaminants in their production and use, therefore when the material is ready to be recycled, it is not intertwined with other elements and can simply be sent to the furnace for reuse.
Facts on Recycling Metals
Iron and steel are the world’s most recycled materials.
In 2008, 83% of steel was recycled in the U.S.
The steel industry has been actively recycling for over 150 years.
Steel does not lose any of its inherent properties when recycled.
In the process of electronics recycling, a recycler must deal with every aspect of recycling. The materials in electronic products range from plastics, glass, steel, and copper. Obsolete electronics, also known as e-waste, are not part of the social consciousness when it comes to recycling. The majority of old electronics currently end up in landfills.
Types of Electronics Recycling
The Process of Electronics Recycling
Most items that recyclers receive are manually dismantled as the first step to separate all of the commodities. Items that cannot be dismantled in an efficient manner are put through a shredding process. Whole e-scrap or dismantled parts can be shredded down to pieces that are less than 2 inches in diameter. They can then be separated through a series of devices all connected via conveyor belts in a process that is 95% automated. The recycled products include iron, copper, aluminum, plastic, glass, precious metal mix, and shredded circuit boards.
Facts on Electronics Recycling
In 2008, there was 4.6 billion pounds of e-waste in the United States. However, less than 900 million pounds (19%) of that waste was recycled.
In 2005 alone, almost 2 million tons of e-waste ended up in landfills.
Most of it ended up in landfills either in the United States or was shipped to other countries such as China, India, Malaysia, and Pakistan.
Approximately 20% of CRTs are comprised of lead, equivalent to between 4 and 8 pounds per unit.
As e-waste is compounded in landfills by sheer volume, the accumulation lead, mercury, and cadmium are a major hazard to our environment.