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Recycling becoming unviable


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#76 Deb999

Posted 09 February 2018 - 05:01 PM

View PostIce Queen, on 31 January 2018 - 07:46 PM, said:

I watched an eye opening documentary a while back about how glass is becoming unrecyclable too.  Stockpiles everywhere and it’s cheaper to make new glass than recycle old glass.

I can unpack some of this about glass (its long!)

There are two reasons primarily here about why glass is "hard" to recycle. Firstly, it's due to the coefficient of expansion (COE) that glass has. Most of our glass products (beer, wine, soft drink bottles) are manufactured in Soda Lime Glass aka Soft Glass, but soft glass has a COE range anywhere from 85 - 104. (Artistic glass from Murano is strictly 104, 96 or 90). The problem is that you can't mix COE's together when remelting glass, it makes the product unstable and prone to shattering. So our recycled glass bottles are *technically* recyclable but they need to be sorted for maximum efficient recycling. This is time consuming and expensive, as there is no actual way to know what the COE of a glass product is without testing it. The easiest way to sort is by colour because the colour is usually indicative of the type of COE in glass containers.

Unfortunately in Australia, there was never any incentive to keep glass products separate. Ideally we'd have a bucket system with 4 dividers. Brown glass, blue/green glass, clear glass, pyrex. Generally speaking, most beer bottles are around the same COE, as is most wine and clear jars. The problem comes when its all mixed together in a manufacturing facility.  Pyrex is "Hard Glass" or Borosilicate glass and has a COE of 30, 33, its easier to recycle because there is less range. Float glass which is what windows and some chopping boards are made out of is also a different COE to other clear glass, so a broken window can't easily be recycled with bottles, but sometimes that gets mixed in. When that happens, that entire load of glass isn't suitable for a remelt, unless sorted.

Then you have the added problem of painted or plastic laminated glass (really particular to glass containers for alcohol and float glass), the paints and laminates have to be scrubbed clean before it can be recycled. Of course, its impossible for a regular consumer to get it off, so its left up to the recycling company, who put it in the too hard basket. Or worse, chip it and it gets mixed in with recyclable glass, ruining the glass that could be recycled.

Secondly, the raw materials for glass are astonishingly cheap and most of the raw material is mined in China (where most of our glass bottles are manufactured). There is little incentive to recycle glass when the raw material is abundant and cheap.

Like others here, I use a Bokashi bucket and I like making my own pickles, jams and candles, so I save glass jars (hoard more like). I have a soda stream so I don't buy plastic bottles, but my DH likes his beer and those bottles I can't reuse. I did cut them down to make little glass tealight holders a few years back but there is only so much amber glass tealight holders one can own. I always feel a sense of woe when all the recyclables are mixed together, just keeping aside amber glass on its own would guarantee almost 100% recycling of the beer bottle as beer bottles are usually around the 98 COE and really easy to reuse without melting down as well.

Anyhow, long winded discussion on glass, but it's a bugbear of mine. It could very easily be recycled if people were encouraged to separate it themselves.

#77 Mands09

Posted 09 February 2018 - 08:22 PM

Don't they sort glass using optical sorters that can differentiate between the colours at the recycling centre?

Apparently in canberra they are able to 'implode' the glass and crush it up into sand for use in road base and concrete mix for construction.

#78 Deb999

Posted 09 February 2018 - 09:35 PM

View PostMands09, on 09 February 2018 - 08:22 PM, said:

Don't they sort glass using optical sorters that can differentiate between the colours at the recycling centre?

Apparently in canberra they are able to 'implode' the glass and crush it up into sand for use in road base and concrete mix for construction.

Not in every state. Victoria is badly behind. (I'm in Vic), its one of the places where recycled material is hoarded. I haven't seen them used crushed glass as road base for years in Vic, but I remember them doing that when I was younger. Either way, big business needs to step up. Either to replace their packaging with eco friendly product wrappings or to invest in recycling.

#79 TheWanderer

Posted 10 February 2018 - 09:25 AM

I just read this article as: recycling company can't make as much profit now they can't dump their rubbish overseas anymore so are now trying to get governments / taxpayers to stump up.  

The opportunity exists for governments to lead the way to incentivise universities and companies to develop technology and business models which make recycling more attractive across the board... but can't really see much happening in that space in the current climate.

#80 Kallie88

Posted 10 February 2018 - 10:54 AM

View PostDeb01979, on 09 February 2018 - 09:35 PM, said:



Not in every state. Victoria is badly behind. (I'm in Vic), its one of the places where recycled material is hoarded. I haven't seen them used crushed glass as road base for years in Vic, but I remember them doing that when I was younger. Either way, big business needs to step up. Either to replace their packaging with eco friendly product wrappings or to invest in recycling.

This reminded me of a thing i saw on Facebook about one of the European countries (think Sweden or Finland or Denmark) using used plastic to make their roads instead of tar. Sounded like an interesting concept, but of course i dunno how factual just because it was facebook lol

#81 IamOzgirl

Posted 10 February 2018 - 02:06 PM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 01 February 2018 - 06:30 AM, said:

I know, it remains to be seen.

I think this is a case of finding new ways to do things that don't involve a plastic bag. There must be someone smart enough out there to do that.

I've not done it yet with the containers, firstly because we don't eat much meat, and secondly the few plastic bags we do get, get reused as dog waste bags.

Which is, of course, another topic - the environmental impact of pets.

I can't actually remember back to my childhood when butchers didn't use plastic bags.

Actually you know that little piece of plastic the use in the deli to divide slices of meat? We used to use that to pick stuff up without wasting a plastic bag. i know its still plastic bit smaller. So it helps a little bit. But someone could make it biodegradable?

#82 born.a.girl

Posted 10 February 2018 - 06:52 PM

View PostOzgirlKK, on 10 February 2018 - 02:06 PM, said:

Actually you know that little piece of plastic the use in the deli to divide slices of meat? We used to use that to pick stuff up without wasting a plastic bag. i know its still plastic bit smaller. So it helps a little bit. But someone could make it biodegradable?

Yes, that's an idea.

Just occurred to me, too, they could have a plastic bag sitting there with each dish, slip the hand in and plastic bag sits back with the tray of meat.   Not very attractive, admittedly.

One upside of this crisis, is that alternative recycling ideas /packaging ideas, which up until now have not been cost effective, may now turn out to be so.

#83 Mands09

Posted 10 February 2018 - 06:57 PM

I feel like I should dedicate some time each week to campaign brands/products that use too much packaging.

#84 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 09 April 2018 - 12:07 PM

Still no solution to this problem.  Their "equivalent to" pictures of how much waste there is are quite shocking.

https://www.theage.c...406-p4z88a.html

#85 Mmmcheese

Posted 09 April 2018 - 01:05 PM

It's terrible, but it's a fascinating study of globalism and capitalism. Little seemingly benign choices along the way that have snowballed and landed us in quite a big mess.

#86 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 21 April 2018 - 09:27 AM

Ipswich has ditched curb side recycling. A council near me is increasing rates $70 a year to cover increased recycling costs. I’m sure more councils will follow ipswitch. And this is affecting Europe and the USA too.

I wonder what other countries are doing about it?
I wonder how many councils are already secretly dumping recycling at landfill?

My theory:
Industry is just waiting for other countries, like Indonesia, to start increasing imports and then they will just ship their waste there instead. That’s why they are stockpiling right now. They arent looking at local options, they’re just waiting for another poor country to pick up where China left off.

#87 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 21 April 2018 - 10:00 AM

View PostFresh Start, on 21 April 2018 - 09:45 AM, said:

ipswich City Council backflipped already
https://www.google.c...article/9681682

That’s good. All councils need to educate people better on what’s recyclable and what isn’t. That should have been a continual, long term, thing they do, but doesn’t seem to happen round here anyway.

#88 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 28 March 2019 - 11:49 AM

India is banning plastic waste imports now.

https://www.google.c...327-p5180c.html

Recycling companies are still stockpiling waste, but the EPA is cracking down on it.

https://www.google.c...215-p50y5z.html

In Victoria, prepare for increased council rates and possible end to curb side recycling.

#89 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 28 March 2019 - 11:51 AM

And looks like many other countries are getting stricter too

https://www.environm...ry-dec-2018.pdf

#90 Chaotic Pogo

Posted 28 March 2019 - 12:50 PM

View PostNobody Cool, on 01 February 2018 - 06:40 AM, said:

I would love to see some sort of enforceable legislation around excessive packaging but I know it will never happen.

When I was in Europe 20 years ago, the rule was that you did not have to take packaging home from the supermarket and the supermarket had to provide bins. That was because the actual rubbish collection was effectively by the kilo.

Net result- cornflakes came in a printed 'inside bag' and no box. Etc. etc. etc. Supermarkets put pressure on the manufacturers.

I saw some people literally transferring every purchase to their home containers they had brought and leaving all the packaging / rubbsih at the supermarket.

#91 lozoodle

Posted 28 March 2019 - 01:03 PM

This is one of the reasons why I can't use hello fresh and the like anymore even though I adore the convenience of it all.  All those teeny tiny single portion size plastic bags for every meal, the waste is out of control.

Don't get me started on those meal plans that are all the rage now too where your meal is pre made and pre packaged for you. So much waste its really disheartening. Lite and easy  is a shocker for it too. Makes me sick.

#92 JBH

Posted 28 March 2019 - 01:04 PM

View PostChaotic Pogo, on 28 March 2019 - 12:50 PM, said:



When I was in Europe 20 years ago, the rule was that you did not have to take packaging home from the supermarket and the supermarket had to provide bins. That was because the actual rubbish collection was effectively by the kilo.

Net result- cornflakes came in a printed 'inside bag' and no box. Etc. etc. etc. Supermarkets put pressure on the manufacturers.

I saw some people literally transferring every purchase to their home containers they had brought and leaving all the packaging / rubbsih at the supermarket.

I remember this too. Charge businesses and consumers to dispose of waste, allow consumers to pass the cost back to business and finally we see waste reduction. Milk in plastic bladders that go in a reusable case, cereal in the bag but not placed inside a box, no plastic on fruit, even bigger discounts for a large tip of yogurt over single servings.

#93 cira

Posted 28 March 2019 - 06:49 PM

Maybe Victoria (and other states) need to re-visit the idea of a bottle deposit scheme?

https://www.smh.com....830-p500nd.html


“Container deposit recycling schemes reduce litter overall,” Associate Professor Peter Bragge from BehaviourWorks Australia wrote in The Conversation.


“Data from seven US states show 69-83 per cent reductions in container waste and 30-47 per cent reductions in overall waste.”


#94 cira

Posted 28 March 2019 - 06:56 PM

Maybe it's worth signing th Green's petition? I don't know if this is current and/or where it is being sent to:

https://greens.org.a...ix-waste-crisis




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