Tuesday, September 08, 2009

It does not make sense

It does not make sense why people should wash stuff before recycling. By washing the stuff we are about to recycle we are wasting the most valuable recourse in the world - drinking water. Who can justify this?
The recyclables are washed before being recycled in plants anyway! Is this one of those things that is simply done for the sake of doing?

I just don't get it.


Richard said...

I believe it is to avoid problems with rats.

Even if we rinse out containers, they still need to have paper or plastic labels removed and th glue which binds those labels. Plastic liners may need to be removed.

So, yeah, it is a waste of water (but this is never, as far as I know, ever factored into the environmental cost - it is free water).

PEople have to learn that the most environmentally sound policy is first to reduce and secondly to reuse.

Recycling (which seems to be promoted the most) is really the worst solution - especially when it comes to plastic because plastic cannto be recycled in the same way metal or glass or paper can.

You can wash plastic and then melt it down to make new products. IT just doesn;t work that way. P;astic is instrinsically changed during the molding process. Besides hygeine is another major concern. In Quebec, they used to have these posters (probably still do) promoting recycling which showed some plastic bottles and new plastic products (like a running shoe). That poster is an outright lie.

Plastics can be recycled by washing them and then grinding them up and mixing them with a binder to make things like plastic lumber, or they van be ground up and used as an inert filler for some things.

When you buy a plastic product that says contains recycled plastic, it is one of those moral but not technical lies. When plastic products are molded, there is some waste material (runners, sprues, flash). This waste material can be taken, ground up, mixed with virgen resin (usually no more than 10%) and used. But, it certainly is not the plastic bottle you recycled.

Finally, I am lying, some plastics can be recycled. This is done by dissolving the plastic in a chemical bath that breaks it down into base chemical and then the chemicals can be recombined to make new plastics. I have never been able to find the energy and environmental cost of this, but my suspision is that it is probably high - possibly higher than the original cost of making virgin plastic.

CG said...

Ok so they are trying to avoid rats, but we put normal rubbish in the bins and they stay there for a week and it is alright. It is a bit ridiculous because i know they wash them in the recycling plants.

As for not counting the water, now that is plain ridiculous, and proves that the whole recycling business is a hoax to threaten people. I understand we need to recycle but we can not afford to waste drinking water to clean up dirty tins!

I agree, reduce then reuse and only then recycle, but there isn't much promotion for that!

But then local councils could not threaten us with large fines for not reusing! I think there is a lot of bullshit in the system, because personally I do not think politicians give a damn about our world...

Richard said...

Remember, I think it is about avoiding rats and I think the "free house" water is not factored into it. I could be wrong.

I have no problem with being environm,entally friendly, the problem is that it has now become a potent ideology in teh main stream, its prophets have a strong voice, and politician's need to be seen to be doing something (it doesn't have to be right or good or even useful - it just has to be something).

Politician's are very short term thinkers - actually, so are most people.

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