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The waste from your home or business is usually dumped in designated waste disposal sites such as landfills or recycled at recycling facilities. After your skip bin company collects the garbage from your commercial or residential property, it is sorted to separate recyclable and non-recyclable waste. The recyclable materials are selected and taken to material recovery facilities (MRFs), while the non-recyclable ones are dumped in landfill sites.
Recycling is an excellent technique because it ensures that waste generated by human beings is reused for other purposes. This article focuses on what recycling does, and looks at some of the significant benefits of recycling in Australia.
What Is Recycling?
Recycling refers to the gathering and processing of all waste materials that would otherwise have ended up as trash in landfills. The process turns recyclable waste into new raw materials useful in various industries.
It’s a process that offers myriad benefits to the environment and community. Reusing and recycling waste minimises the number of harmful substances produced and also minimises energy usage, thus benefiting the environment. Recycling helps extend the usefulness and life of things that have already served their initial purpose.
The items are returned to their raw materials, which are then used to generate something that can be utilised in the same way or differently. Recycling uses the three golden sustainability principles, i.e., Reducing, Reusing and Recycling. It’s worth noting that the planet is positively impacted by increased recycling.
The Recycling Process
The recycling process in Australia depends on the material being recycled. After the waste is sorted into different materials, the recycling process is then done depending on the specific material. Here is how the recycling of various materials is done.
After papers have been sorted from waste, they are taken to a recycling plant. Here, they are separated and categorised into different grades and types. The papers are then washed using soap to remove plastic film, inks, glue, and staples. Next, the mixture is combined with water creating a slurry. Various products can be made from recycled paper when different materials are added to the paper slurry. Some of the recycled products include newsprint, cardboard, or office paper.
During the recycling process, plastics are usually sorted into different colours and types. They are filtered, sifted of contaminants, chopped, and melted into fibres or pellets. Recycled plastic materials create new products, including durable construction materials, fleece fabrics, moulded insulation, and furniture.
When metals are recycled, metal products like aluminium cans are chopped up, heated to remove their paint coating, and heated again to melt and mix. After filtering and treating, the molten metal is then poured into ingots that are rolled into flat sheets and ready to be designed into new products. Metal recycling is an affordable recycling solution. Aluminium is one of the most recycled metals.
Glass is usually collected, sorted based on colour, and cleaned to eliminate impurities. Next, the glass is crushed and mixed with soda ash, sand, and limestone. The recycled glass mixture is melted and moulded into new products like jars and bottles.
Electronic waste like laptops, cell phones, batteries, and computers is usually dismantled into parts such as power supplies, metal frames, plastics, and circuit boards. The dismantling is either done using automated shredding equipment or by hand. The recovered components are collected and then sent to different material recovery facilities for recycling.
Leaded glass from CRTs gets reused in ammunition, car batteries, and lead wheel weights. Hazardous gases and smoke captured from the recycling of the e-waste are usually contained and then treated to control environmental threats.
Clothing and textiles
Recycling clothing and textiles first involve collecting and sorting them depending on colour and type. The textiles are then shredded into fibres and blended with other fibres. Next, the blended mixture is cleaned and spun for knitting or weaving.
The fibres could also be compressed to produce mattresses. Some textiles are also shredded to create filling materials for roofing belts, car insulation, panel linings, loudspeaker cones, and furniture padding.
In the case of specialised polyester materials, the zippers and buttons are removed. The remaining material is then cut into small pieces, which are then granulated and transformed into small pellets.
These pellets are then broken down and converted into polyester chips. Finally, the polyester chips are melted and spun into new filament fibre to make new polyester fabrics.
Major Benefits Of Recycling
Here are the top benefits of recycling waste materials.
Minimises CO2 emissions and air pollution
Recycling offers a more efficient and straightforward process to produce several raw materials. This is because the process leads to less air pollution and emits less CO2 emissions in the air than the use of the original materials.
Promotes a healthier ecosystem
Recycling is a great way to promote a healthier ecosystem for both wildlife and humans. Chemicals, sewage, and other toxic substances, such as toxic acids and heavy metals from industries, can contaminate lakes, wildlife habitats, rivers, and other water sources.
When these materials are recycled into fertiliser or compost, they could be used to help to enrich the soil in the fields. This helps maintain a healthy and clean environment for humans and other animals. The same thing happens to plastic and also other materials. Recycling reduces environmental pollution and damage to the ecosystem.
Conserves natural resources
Recycling helps minimise the need to harvest new materials from our planet. This, in turn, helps conserve nonrenewable resources, ensuring that they are not depleted as fast as they otherwise would have been.
Helps save energy
For instance, when waste paper is recycled, less energy is used to produce it when compared to the energy used in producing it from new trees. Less energy is also used to make new metals from recycled ones.
Recycled paper, plastics, and other materials are less costly than the raw materials used to make new products. Therefore, the companies spend less on manufacturing products from recycled materials. If you buy recycled materials, it also helps you save money because they are sold at a reduced price compared to their non-recycled counterparts.
Minimises waste that ends up in landfill sites
Burning materials such as plastics, cardboard, and other materials lead to air pollution. This is because a large number of toxic gases are produced as by-products. Therefore, recycling waste reduces the need to burn garbage and dump it in landfills. This, in turn, helps reduce the pollution and other problems caused by landfills.
Boosts the economy and creates jobs
Many new companies have come up in the recycling industry. This has led to increased job opportunities in the many companies involved in recycling materials. The process also plays a significant role in boosting economic growth and sustainability.
Reduces the need to import materials
Recycling materials help the country reduce the importation of raw materials. This is a great way to reduce dependency on other countries and boost economic security.
Why Is Recycling Vital For Future Generations?
Recycling is critical for future generations because it helps prevent the waste of non-renewable materials and controls pollution. The process supports the circular economy principle of keeping materials in circulation. Simply put, recycling helps protect and preserve the natural environment to allow future generations to enjoy a healthy planet.
Do You Need Expert Help Recycling Your Waste?
Recycling waste is a great way to conserve the environment and also boost the economy. The process also offers many other benefits making it a critical function in waste management.
To ensure that your waste is recycled perfectly, you should hire a reliable skip bin company in your municipal area to collect waste from your residential or commercial property.
As seen above, these companies collect waste and sort the ones that can be recycled and reused, which are taken to MRFs, while the non-recyclable waste is safely dumped in landfills. The best skip bin companies invest in the latest waste management technologies and tools to allow for more efficiency.