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week5Recycling - and pollution can be complex as there are...

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1 Recycling Benefits Recycling of most materials takes less energy and water than to make new material – Aluminium uses 95% less energy – Plastic uses 70% less energy – Paper uses 40% less energy Benefits Many processes there is less waste byproduct of primary production, like mine tailings for metals, deforestation for paper, or petroleum for plastic Reduces the amount of material placed in landfills
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2 Down side Still requires energy and water (for paper in particular) to recycle Paper and some other materials ‘downcycle’ which means there is a limit to the number of times it can be recycled. Many materials are more expensive to recycle than to landfill (though some like aluminium actually make money. Downsides Many arguments are often made about the economics of recycling. With aluminium there is clearly a benefit, but the cost effectiveness in other areas is not as clear Trying to estimate the savings in energy
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Unformatted text preview: and pollution can be complex as there are many factors involved. Process • Most recycling starts with some level of ‘source separation’ • This is initial sorting done by the producer of the waste. . • Separating paper, plastic, organics etc. • Some downside to this as the user may not always sort effectively – this leads to lower quality material 3 Sorting • Since sorting is a major issue, most recycling facilities do the sorting internally either by hand or mechanically • (see diagram from Basic Environmental Technology 5 th edition (hereafter BET)) Mechanical Sorting • Typically material is source separated into paper in one stream and metals/plastic/glass in a second, though even this can now be mechanized (Peel Region does this) • Material is baled and set to the market where a user recycles the material separately...
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