Thoughts on recycling

Recycling is a good process; it helps decrease waste, recoups energy, and is often helpful for the second hand market. A general conception is that a zero waste should focus on recycling more and more – which is only true in part. As a zero-waster, the goal should be to recycle less and less.

Recycle less?

If you’re recycling more and more, that means you’re using non-durable or low quality or non eco friendly goods. Generating a lot of used items which need recycling, means that the overall approach isn’t working out. We need to reduce the items which get recycled – and replace them with ones that either last a longer lifetime or can be fully repurposed later on.

Recycling is like a business

We tend to forget that the recycled material must have somewhere to go. Most items don’t get recycled simply because there is no market for them. It is simply easier, or cost effective for most businesses to use virgin material instead. Our approach should therefore be to use more and more items that have a market AFTER getting recycled.

Recycle rates

Recycle rates tell us how much of a material can be recycled safely and also find usage after the recycling process.

Glass, has a 100% recycle rate. Most of the glass that is recycled can be used again without any problems. As such, buying new products with glass in them means the product will create less waste overall after it’s discarded. Aluminium has a similar recycle rate. It is actually one of the most recyclable materials and is also relatively pricier, so businesses often prefer recycled aluminium to fresh one.

Paper has about a 65% recycle rate. Quite a bit of it is recyclable as compared to most materials. It costs about 50% to 78% less to make recycled paper as compared to making new paper from wood pulp.

Plastic is about 9% recycle rate.

I follow this page on Instagram that shares videos about nature and how we can help the environment. They usually post people who make DIY things that have an impact on the zero waste topic. I have seen these short videos about recycling paper and how they can recycle paper by themselves at home. It is satisfying to watch, helpful for nature and they might actually be helpful for reuse again. I have not yet seen a video reusing them. Anyone has done this and willing to share the result with me?

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I’ve seen some stuff about reciclying paper when i was a kid and always wanted to try it out. I have a bunch of old books (school books) laying around that aren’t useful anymore, so my first thought was to give it to some reciclying company and let them handle this process. Unfortunately, these books can’t be recycled since they have some bad chemicals in the ink used to print them. I’ll try to do it by myself although i know that the paper isn’t going to turn like a factory one, it’ll be cool to try it.

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If you do, you can share it with us by creating a topic and telling us about the process and how it turned out to be. It would be helpful if anyone else tries!

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If you are handy with a soldering iron, there are so many appliances at home you can easily repair. As a disclaimer, please do not attempt to open any appliance if you do not have the knowledge and experience. Touching some components inside some appliances can be lethal even if it is unplugged for a long time.

At the beginning of the pandemic, my computer mouse was acting up. Most mouse problems I encounter is the left micro clicker failing and this was no different. Now, one can forgo the use of a mouse(or simply switch the clicker actions) but it was going to slow me down. I can order a handful replacement parts for very cheap but that will take days. I knew I had another broken mouse so I simply harvested the right clicker from that one and transplanted it to the one I was using. I know computer mice are very cheap(although some for gaming are very expensive) but a soldering iron and spare clickers are even cheaper. Repairing one saves you some money and lessen e-waste and plastic. I don’t even know if they recycle the circuit board as I doubt these have precious metals as computer motherboards. I really think computer mice should be made with more durable shell and easily replaced clickers and wires.

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