Recycling: Bringing Old Things to Life

Published March 26, 2010 – 10:44pm
Posted by: Patrick

Old Papers

Newspapers, magazines, old notebooks and cardboards make up a huge percentage of all recycled materials. Although it still takes considerable amounts to produce a single ton of new paper with recycled materials, using recycled paper saves three tons of virgin wood pulp for every ton of recycled paper product.  Newspapers and magazines and all other types of paper are first shredded. These are then bathed to remove all the ink and impurities. These results to a fine pulp which is then mixed with wood chips to strengthen the fibers. The fibers go thru the normal process of creating paper where the pulp is emptied into a screen and drained. The drained material is then passed thru heated rollers where they are flattened. The pressed paper is then rolled and sold as materials for creating newspapers and magazines which starts the cycle again.

 Aluminum

More than 90 percent of all beverage cans in the United States are made from aluminum. This metal has been used for beer or carbonated beverages because they are both tough and light. Billions of aluminum cans are produced in the US alone to meet the huge need for this type of container. Aluminum is ideal for use in beverages because they are able to withstand the pressure of carbonated drinks without sacrificing weight in the process. The shiny finish is also ideal for providing a nice background for printing labels.  Aluminum cans are first shredded and melted into sheets were they are used then sent to production lines where are they shaped into cans or various products. Aluminum is not only great for making cans for beverages but they have also become an important component in car bodies. Because they are both lightweight and strong, using aluminum in car bodies decrease gas consumption.   Aluminum is the third most common element. Aluminum accounts for about a 3rd of the earth’s crust. But aluminum could not be found in a pure form, it is often mixed with other materials and separating it takes a lot of energy. Although aluminum is readily available for mining, the main benefit of recycling aluminum is the huge saving in energy cost in producing new aluminum from scratch.

Tin Cans

Tin cans are just steel containers which have been coated with tin. The tin is separated from the steel by dipping them in a tin removing solution and finally removed thru the process of electrolysis. The steel is then collected and shipped to different production sites where they are forged for a variety of purposes. The tin content is also sold to pharmaceuticals and chemical companies or recycled for the production of new tin cans.

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Glass

Glass products are first crushed into small and finer pieces. The broken glass is run thru machines which separate impurities such as paper and metals. The broken glass is then mixed with sand, limestone and soda ash all basic components of glass making. The mixture is then melted and blown into new glass products.

Mobile Phones

Ever wondered what happens to old mobile phones? With more and more people using mobile phones, these devices are fast becoming one of the top electronic wastes products. Many of us have been unable to let go of these electronic devices because upgrading is usually done not because the old mobile phone is busted but more about personal preference. Many would conclude that these devices generally end up as trash as buried in landfills. This however is not true as almost 60 to 70 percent of the mobile phone could be recycled. But the fact is, most of the old cellphones are stored away in a closet especially if they remain operational.

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