Over the past decade households in the UK have woken up to the fact that we need to recycle more of our household waste. Impressively, it is estimated that we now do so to the tune of somewhere around 50%, which means only half of the rubbish we throw away ends up in landfills. Whilst there surely more progress to be made, recycling is a relative success story in the UK.
Previously, the story was simple; once a week or so families would take their rubbish bins or bin liners out onto the street for collection, the dustbin lorry would trundle around and the waste would be carted off to landfill. Nowadays, it is a little more exciting with different coloured bins, numerous lorries and several rounds of sorting and waste processing.
So what does exactly happen to waste once it has been collected?
The answer is a little involved and will often depend on who exactly collected your waste. There are both private and local authority run collection services (make a search for ‘rubbish clearance London ’ and you’ll soon find out) who each use slightly different albeit similar methods of sorting and disposing of waste material.
First of all, let us deal with the waste that is not sent immediately to recycling plants. Whilst some of this waste will reach landfill, where it will be left to decompose, a significant proportion is sent to be incinerated. Whilst this sounds like it might be terrible for the environment, the energy created by burning the waste is actually captured and used to generate electricity, which is then supplied to the national grid. These incineration plans run at roughly 25% efficiency and so are far from perfect, yet is preferable to simply allowing waste to sit and decompose on a landfill site.
Dry recyclable items, which have been disposed of in the correct recyclable bags or bins, are taken off to a processing plant usually somewhere on the outskirts of your town or city. Here a huge sorting operation takes place to separate the different types of waste, ready for recycling. Usually, the bags are split open or loose items tipped out onto a conveyor belt which runs through a number of processing stations.
The first station is usually a manual pre-sort area, where workers pull out any items that cannot be recycled. These will be diverted back towards landfill or for incineration. This prevents any damage being done to the recycling machines or any unwanted items ending up in processing stations further down the line.
Following the first station is usually an automatic metal sorting station, which involves the items passing under a set of magnets and other mechanisms that are used to retrieve metallic waste. Aluminium cans, whilst not strictly magnetic, will also be retrieved in this stage. Any empty tins will be retrieved and sent to steelworks, where they can be melted down and used in an entire range of new products. In fact, steel is the most recycled material in the world; some of which comes from household waste.
Another station will retrieve paper and card, which can be recycled into newspapers, tissues, cardboard and packaging. These items are sent off to paper mills for processing, where they will be reduced to mulch and entered back into the manufacturing cycle.
Plastics, one of the most widely recycled materials in the world, will be retrieved and send off to another processing plant for re-use. Plastic bottles, food packaging and cartons are all retrieved at this stage.
Once the items have been processed and recycled they have come full circle around the product life cycle. Very soon they find themselves back on the shelves of shops, in cars or motorbikes or in all manner of different applications.
Finally, food waste and garden waste is processed in a slightly different manner. This waste is collected together and transported to sites out of the city for shredding and preparation for composting. The waste is placed into huge containers, where it is left for around 12 weeks to decompose and become compost. From here it can be sold to garden centres and trade.
Elevating Your Writing Skills With These Simple Steps
Writing skills are an essential part of communication and is not something that naturally comes from within. You have to...
When to Replace Your Car’s Tires and How to See The Warning Signs
Trying to get by with tires that may be long past their prime can lead to many problems. Worn tires...
4 Reasons Why Your Small Business Should Hire An SEO Company
Starting a small business is a very noble endeavor. It takes a lot of courage to step away from the...
What Effects Would Artificial Intelligence Have on the Future of Digital Marketing?
In the past few years, the wave of technology has drastically transformed digital marketing. From connecting with people to working...
Best Affiliate Marketing Software Of 2021
The best affiliate marketing software makes earning advertising revenue from your website quick and convenient. The next challenge is to...
When Is It Time For You to Declare Bankruptcy?
If you’ve reached a point where you can no longer pay your debts, you need to file for bankruptcy protection....
Paying More For The Same Flawed Healthcare Insurance
Chances are, you are paying more for your health insurance this year than last year. You may well wonder, why...
Conveyor Belt Systems: 6 Ways to Improve Efficiency
You might think that conveyor belt systems cannot be improved because of the simplicity of their design. After all, how...
3D Rendering Terminology: Guide For Architects to Communicate With CG Artists
When chipping away at a building representation project, a modeler and a 3D delivering worker for hire need to see...
Learn and Become A Professional DevOps Engineer!
Have you been having a tough time deciding what you want to do when you grow up? Once your school...
Debunking The Common Myths About Cosmetic Surgery
Just a few years back, plastic surgery was thought to be some kind of sorcery or something that existed in...
How to Choose The Right Type Of Flooring For Your New Home
Building a house from scratch can be a tedious and stressful process even though you know you are doing something...
3 Ways To Style An Oversized White Shirt This Summer
If there is one staple item you need ready for your summer wardrobe, it’s an oversized white shirt. They are...
5 Tips For Picking The Perfect Wedding Ring
Your big day is coming up for your wedding day and you set the standards too high with your engagement...
What’s That Thing Called? All You Need to Know About Your Car’s Lift Struts
Imagine you’re out for grocery shopping or a weekend outing with family, and you need to load your shopping or...
Tech6 years ago
Creating An e-Commerce Website
Tech6 years ago
Design Template Guidelines For Mobile Apps
Business5 years ago
The Key Types Of Brochure Printing Services
Travel9 years ago
Who Else Wants Also Nfl Hat
General6 years ago
Kobe Bryant With His Unique Nba Jerseys
Tech7 years ago
Why Small Businesses Can't Ignore Mobile Technology
Tech6 years ago
Climb Google Using These Checklists
Health7 years ago
Health Supplements For Sports Activities Nutrition