Classification of Recyclable Materials
All you need to know.
We all know we should recycle, but it's often difficult to figure out which recyclable items. In this blog post, we'll break down the sorting of materials so you can feel confident about what's in your recycling bin.
But first, we need to understand the types of recycling.
All recyclables will fall into three main types of recycling: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary. Below we will discuss each and what they mean.
Primary Recycling is where a recyclable material or product can be recovered or reused without altering its current state. Many primary recyclables will be repurposed for the same use it was created for. Primary recyclables should not be changed in any way. You may think of these types of recyclables as secondhand use. They may be utilised by you, donated or sold. Here are some examples of primary recycling.
Glassware – dishes, glass jars, etc.
Toys – donate to charities, friends or family.
Electronics – reuse in another area of your business, sell to recover some cost or donate.
Secondary Recycling will be repurposed without having to reprocess them. So, the material may be reused differently than it was initially intended. This often happens with DIY crafts and can significantly ensure recyclable material stays out of landfills.
Here are some examples of secondary recycling:
Cut egg cartons in half and use them to plant seedlings.
Cut off the top half of a plastic bottle to use it as a fuel funnel
Reuse plastic, paper, wood, and metals to do any type of DIY project
Tertiary Recycling involves the chemical altering of the products or materials to make them reusable. This may be done internally or externally. If external, the recyclables are recovered and reprocessed through a public facility. It would involve sorting recyclables and placing them in bins to be transported by a reprocessing facility. Internal recycling would be where no public service is concerned. Some factories or manufacturers may conduct internal tertiary recycling.
Read: Identifying Non-recyclable materials.
Now let’s look at Types of Recycling by Materials.
Paper and cardboard: You can recycle paper and cardboard easily. They are, in fact, one of the most recycled materials. Examples are Notebooks, printing paper, wrapping paper, newspapers, coloured paper, cardboard, and cartons.
Aluminium cans: Aluminium cans also are common in our environment. Good enough that they can be recycled, thereby saving energy. Recycling one aluminium can save enough energy to run your television for 3 hours. Examples are Cans, foils, kitchen utensils, window frames, car body parts, household electronics & power lines.
Steel cans: They look like aluminium cans but are very different. One difference is they can easily be firmly attached to magnets. Recycling them also helps in saving lots of energy in our environment. They tend to be darker than Aluminium Cans.
Plastic bottles: Any plastic bottles or containers can easily be recycled. Such as body lotion plastic, drink plastic & bottle water plastic.
Composite materials: These are materials produced from two or more constituent materials. Materials such as Generators, fridges, washing machines etc
Scrapays facilitates the recovery of recyclable materials by building the digital infrastructure that optimises the waste value-chain, connecting the players to increase efficiency and profitability.