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Transcript of RECYCLING
What is Recycling?
How Long Do They Take To Break Down?
There are many ways in which you can recycle. Most ways are very easy to do;
Reuse plastic bags
Buy rechargeable batteries
Buy products made from recycled materials
Recycle electronics (phones, laptops)
Donate old clothing
In 2006-2007, Australians generated almost 48 million tonnes of waste. Of that, only 52% was recycled!
Recycling a plastic bottle can save energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
The most common form of hazardous waste generated by Australians is in the form of batteries.
Items made of plastic are the major source of trash in Australia.
Of all the steel cans used in Australia in 2002, 48,500 tons were recycled. This volume of steel is 4 times the quantity needed to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
In 2010, Australians recycled only 30.3% of their steel cans and 67.4% of aluminum cans.
Australians dispose of approximately 50 to 60 million fluorescent tubes and HID (high indensity discharge) lamps every year, resulting in large amounts of mercury being sent to our landfills.
Random Facts and Statistics
Recycling is the process to change waste materials into another useful product. By recycling you can reduce gases, such as green house or gases from incineration, that will pollute the air and damage the ozone layer.
Some materials that can be recycled include;
What do the products get turned into?
Paper and Thin Cardboard
Paper and cardboard are sorted and taken to a paper mill. Water is then added to make it into a sludgy kind of mixture and non-recyclable materials such as staples and ribbons are taken out. The pulp is then screened, cleaned and de-inked and then can be made into new paper.
Aluminum and Steel Cans
Aluminum cans are shredded and any coloured coating is removed. The shredded cans are melted down and poured into casts, they are then chilled. The metal is rolled out and made into brand new cans.
Plastic bottles collected for recycling are separated into different types and colours. The plastic is either shredded into flakes which can be used to create fibers for the textile industry (hats, business suits, duvets and sleeping bags).
Plastic that does not get shredded is melted and molded into new products (bin liners, carrier bags, CD and DVD cases).
Steel cans are melted down with iron ore and limestone. The liquid is poured into molds, cooled and then chopped into blocks ready to be used for cars, cans and buildings.
Glass bottles and jars are screened to remove anything that isn't glass. It is then crushed and screened again, then melted.
Most of the glass is remoulded to create new jars/bottles. Really finely crushed glass is used in the building industry (e.g. roads) as glass has similar properties to sand.
Ways Recycling Can Help the Environment
Reducing Energy Consumption
Landfill is a hard issue to fix. More waste is being put into these landfills and the bigger the problem is getting. By recycling, less things will be put into these landfills. Products that aren't biodegradable (plastic bags, plastic toys, glass) stay in landfill sites for over centuries. They emit gasses that are harmful to the environment. Keeping these things out of landfill will help the environment and our sustainability issue.
Recyclables use less energy than manufacturing artifacts from virgin sources.
For an example; recycled paper will use less energy than taking down a tree and using new wood.
Waste that is put into landfills, emit gases as it slowly rots which pollutes the air. The stench of rotting paper fills the air and is terrible for your health to breathe in. The less products in landfill will reduce the amount of pollution being created.
There is a lot of ways to reduce the amount of money you spend on some items. By reusing products such as water bottles and rotting vegetables/fruits you can spend less money on bottles and compost. These are just two examples but there are many more ways to reduce some grocery bills.
Paper can take up to five months to deteriorate.
A plastic cup can take up to 400 years to perish
Glass can take up to ONE MILLION YEARS to decompose
It can take up to 500 years for an aluminum can to decay
Waste oil is refined and used in industry, and the cooking oil which is collected at Reuse and Recycling Centers is also recycled into the green fuel LF100 which powers electricity generators, giving back electricity to the National Grid.
By Courtney Lofts