Showing posts with label waste. Show all posts
Showing posts with label waste. Show all posts

26 December 2011

Recycling Christmas tree lights


In China, waste Christmas tree lights are converted into chopped copper and brass for reuse and plastic feedstock for slipper soles.

Christmas tree lightsChina has become a powerhouse for recycling, and they're now making great strides in terms of cleaner, more environmentally-friendly recycling.

The insulation on junked electrical cable used to be burned off so that the copper could be extracted for refining and reuse. But today, in China, the plastic insulation is recovered and sold as a feedstock for shoe sole manufacturers. Even the water used in the processing is reused in the plant, nothing is dumped back into the environment.

The factory described in this article and video on 'The Atlantic' website takes in unwanted Christmas tree lights, sells copper, brass and plastic feedstock,  and consumes only electrical energy and a modest amount of water which is returned to the atmosphere as vapour.

That is a shining (groan) example of how waste can, and should, be handled. The biggest downside I can see in this is the energy cost of shipping the material halfway around the world rather than disposing of it locally.

06 October 2011

TECHNOLOGY - Reusing plastics

Mike Biddle has found practical ways to recycle mixed plastics in the form of sorted raw material pellets. This is something that is urgently needed and appears to be an economically viable activity.

Watch the video of Mike speaking at a TED Conference in July. (Try this link to the video if you can't get it to run below.)



Does anyone have thoughts on how to spread the word about this and encourage our own local industries to use the recycled pellets? Will economic pressure (cheapness of the recycled pellets) be sufficient to move things forward?

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