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Confusion over Recycling

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Why is recycling such a confusing issue ?

 

British consumers are in the dark about exactly what household waste they can recycle, a new poll has revealed, with plastic soap dispenser tops, dirty kitchen roll and wrapping paper topping the list of things they wrongly consider recyclable.

Research shows that Britons are more aware than ever of how recycling can help the environment. However, the majority are putting out contaminated recycling due to common misunderstandings, thereby doing more harm than good.

Eight out of ten Britons believe recycling makes a difference, the research for the British Science Association (BSA) shows, yet when quizzed on exactly what items can go into their recycling bins, none of the 2,000 adult Britons surveyed got full marks.

 

For the full story: http://cag.tw/26n7

 

I am horrified at the reports regarding plastic specifically and the damage it is doing to wild life and the environment.

 

Why can we not be given clear guidelines rather than being threatened with not having our bins emptied or fines.

 

Whilst common sense should make one see that you dont put contaminated paper/plastic in for recycling, it is still very confusing as to what we can and cant put in our recycling bins.


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Problem is it depends on what your council considers recyclable as ultimately very little needs to go to landfill but the cost of processing the waste can be large compared to the return you get for the recycled materials so they cant be bothered with it and blame the housholder for their failure to comply with the law (unfortunately they are allowed to pass the buck to fulfil their obligations).

 

I am a fan of incineration to produce power but a lot of the radical environmentalist arent but they dont have a solution to the problem, just the mantra that we shouldnt use the stuff. They fly to meetings all over the world at the taxpayers expense to tell each other how noble they are but miss the irony of it all.

 

Green or black plastic comes from somewhere so it can be recycled and reused but the cost of processing makes it unviable to the manufacturer of the items.We need to be telling the supermarkets that we dont want such waste and they wil use alternatives but that needs a concerted effort by the buying public and supermarkets will by necessity have to stock less prepacked perishables so be prepared to queue more or even go to a proper butchers/greengrocers instead. The favourite materials for recycling are the cheapest to buy as raw materials so again a big opportunity is being missed.

 

Green glass is another one, we dont bottle enough wine in the UK to make it worthwhile recycling the green glass. Clear glass is easily contaminated and returnable brown beer bottles are a thing of the past in most breweries as well. Some countries use cheap aqua glass for jars and the like but the British housewife likes clear so it all goes in the bin to be dumped. In Australia you can use glass recycling facilities that crush the glass into sand size particles and this is used to help remediate the Great Barrier Reef. Glass is too reactive to use as building sand but research into using it as road aggregate is being done

 

Another use of rubbish would be to rebuild a lot of the embankments on flood risk rivers. Most of the legislation about landfill comes from the EU because countries like Austria have nowhere to dump theirs and as one size fits all we have to obey the diktat as well. The worst quality agricultural land in Austria is about £25000 an acre whereas in the UK decent farmland will cost you about £7000 an acre despite the greater population density here.

 

There was a report saying that a river in Manchester had the most bits f plastic for any river tested. This research has several flaws, the first one being all of the equipment they used for collecting saples was PLASTIC ad secondly they havent done enough work anywhere lese to give a menaingful comparison. It is like counting the number of disabled people at the paralympics and then assuming that the rest of the world is more disabled because otherwise they would have been competing instead.

Edited by honeybee13
Paras

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NHDC collects all types of glass, BIFFA then recycles it. Having spent millions on processing equipment for glass I’d be surprised if it gets dumped...

 

Bedfordshire, however, doesn’t take glass...

 

It seems there isn’t really any excuse not to, though...

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Each Council is different as to what it will or will not accept for recycling & even then will change their minds about materials every couple of months or so. A more coherent policy that can be maintained is needed.


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Yes quite a nationwide policy less delegation to councils. This is off topic but reminds me of fire regulations. Get a nationwide policy on such a need also.

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have a look at the work of Professor Chris Cheeseman at imperial College dept of civil engineering, friend of mine since his student days and worked on a lot stuff together.

The road to hell isnt paved with good intentions, it is paved with PFA silceram, etc. Extracting a material from the rubbish doesnt automatically mean that it gets reused or recycled as the same thing, a huge amount gets sent abroad.

 

NHDC collects all types of glass, BIFFA then recycles it. Having spent millions on processing equipment for glass I’d be surprised if it gets dumped...

 

Bedfordshire, however, doesn’t take glass...

 

It seems there isn’t really any excuse not to, though...

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have a look at the work of Professor Chris Cheeseman at imperial College dept of civil engineering, friend of mine since his student days and worked on a lot stuff together.

The road to hell isnt paved with good intentions, it is paved with PFA silceram, etc. Extracting a material from the rubbish doesnt automatically mean that it gets reused or recycled as the same thing, a huge amount gets sent abroad.

 

Your friends work is exactly the kind of thing we need. I recycle just as much as I possibly can and I’m proud that I produce less than a carrier bag sized amount of landfill for the fortnightly collection but it frustrates me when obviously recyclable/reusable stuff is land filled..... grr....

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saw a news item on the use of plastics instead of bitumen in road surfacing. like adding power station waste to cement and aggregates you still need to use the primary stuff but a good way of reusing some of the plastics that are otherwise non recyclable.

 

More than half of the gypsum used in the plaster industry now comes fro power station sulphur scrubbers so where is that going to come fro when we no longer have coal fired power stations? the asjh that used to be dumped is made into cement and material that was buried as landfill in the 1960's-70's has been dug up and used in cement manufacture so one day people will be mining our old rubbish tips as a source of raw materials.

 

Early computers are a source of gold as so many of the connectors on the chips were gold wire. They are crushed and then treated to recover it. Old telephone exchanges used platinum on the switch contacts and I have spent a couple of days of my life recovering such things from skips outside old excahnges before the powers that be woke up to their waste and got a company to do the recovery for them rather then allowing privarte enterprise.

Edited by honeybee13
Paras

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