recycling

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recycling,

the process of recovering and reusing waste products—from household use, manufacturing, agriculture, and business—and thereby reducing their burden on the environment. During World War I and World War II, shortages of essential materials led to collection drives for silk, rubber, and other commodities. In recent years the environmental benefits of recycling have become a major component of waste management programs.

Waste Disposal and Recycling

For many years direct recycling by producers of surplus and defective materials constituted the main form of recycling. However, indirect recycling, the recycling of materials after their use by consumers, became the focus of activity in the 1990s. For some time, most solid wastesolid waste,
discarded materials other than fluids. In the United States in 1996, nearly 210 million tons—about 4.3 lb. (2 kg) per person daily (up from 2.7 lb./1.2 kg in 1960)—were collected and disposed of by municipalities.
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 has been deposited in landfills or dumps. Landfills are filling up, however, and disposal of wastes in them has led to environmental problems. Also, government (which had little authority over disposal of wastes until the 1970s) now has extensive regulatory powers.

A growing alternative to such disposal is recycling. Industry has found that when it undertakes serious recycling programs, the savings can sometimes be considerable. In addition to reducing manufacturing and materials costs, such programs can insulate the companies from liability for environmental violations. Agriculture, which is the cause of much environmental degradation, can use organic recycling, or the reuse of manure and crop residues (sometimes called "green manure").

Water, in one sense, is always recycled, inasmuch as there is a finite amount of it available on earth and it constantly moves through its cycle of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. Deliberate programs for recycling water include use of wetlands as areas to filter harmful wastes from the substance, or using partly treated sewage for raising fish. Municipal sewage- and water-treatment plants, of course, are fundamental recycling agents.

The individual consumer plays a large part in recycling. Originally, household containers such as beverage cans and bottles were recycled as a matter of course, with a glass beer container or milk bottle being refilled as many as 30 times; in 1935, brewers began putting their products in nonrefillable, "one-way" cans for the convenience of customers, and soon glass containers were declared disposable as well. With the rise of environmentalismenvironmentalism,
movement to protect the quality and continuity of life through conservation of natural resources, prevention of pollution, and control of land use. The philosophical foundations for environmentalism in the United States were established by Thomas Jefferson,
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 in the early 1970s, recycling regained favor. Several states instituted deposit laws for beverage containers; a 5- or 10-cent deposit was charged the consumer at the time of purchase for each can or bottle, then refunded when the container was returned to a store or recycling center. Newspapers take up much volume in landfills, and some recycling programs seek to collect them (along with other sorted categories of waste, such as organic matter, bones, and plastic).

Use of Recycled Materials

In 1996, 27% of solid waste in the United States was recycled. Products that are recycled in large quantities include paper and paperboard, ferrous metals, aluminum and other nonferrous metals, glass, plastics, and yard wastes. Although many local communities have instituted comprehensive recycling programs, these remain expensive. Because the quality of recycled items is often inferior (often due to the mixture or age of the materials in the items being recycled) and not suitable for their original purpose, the price for many recycled materials remains low and makes recycling economically nonviable in some instances. In an attempt to solve this problem, new uses have been created for recovered waste material. Crushed glass, for instance, can be substituted for gravel or sand in road surfacing and other construction applications; the resulting product is called "glassphalt." Scientists and entrepreneurs are also working on ways to turn the world's growing piles of discarded automobile tires into new products or to use them to generate safe energy.

Bibliography

See R. E. Easterling, Reuse of Disposables (1983); W. U. Chandler, Materials Recycling (1983); C. Polprasert, Organic Waste Recycling (1989).

Recycling

The collection and reprocessing of materials to produce new products; can also be applied to the refurbishment or reuse of old buildings.

recycling

[rē′sīk·liŋ]
(electronics)
Returning to an original condition, as to 0 or 1 in a counting circuit.
(engineering)
The extraction and recovery of valuable materials from scrap or other discarded materials.
(nucleonics)
Reuse of fissionable nuclear reactor fuel by chemical processing, reenriching, and refabricating into new fuel elements.
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Concretes in which natural aggregate is replaced with the more absorbent concrete recyclate are characterized by a shorter service life (Gomez-Soberon 2002; Sun, Jiang 2010).
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The company requires a contractor to process approximately 5,800 tonnes of dry mixed recyclates per annum for a fixed gate fee.
Finally, Emans said that plastics recyclers must also continue producing quality recyclates and standardise their operations in order to serve the plastics markets in Europe.
The council is seeking to enter into a long term contract(s) for disposal/treatment services for its residual waste, Kerbside comingled recyclates, Streets and gulley sweepings, Bulky and ad-hoc wastes.
Given there is strong demand from the recyclates buyers for a guarantee on the product they buy, we can assure customers of our full compliance with environmental obligations and the high quality of our PVC-U pellet and pulver derived from post-industrial or post-consumer window frame material.
This requirement from the growth, environment and transport directorate is for the transportation of food waste and mixed dry recyclates for final disposal at the new earth solutions ivc facility and the viridor mrf facility at crayford or other nominated facilities.
Up to 10 percent compostable plastics mixing with conventional plastics in postconsumer recycling streams show no or negligible impact on the mechanical performance of the recyclates, according to the key finding of a meta-study published by European Bioplastics.
This notice is to indicate that Scottish Borders Council intends to contract with J & B Recycling Limited for the continuation of the current service for dry mixed recyclates.