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Diverting MSW – Part Two – Plastic, Metal, and Everything Else

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Presentation on theme: "Diverting MSW – Part Two – Plastic, Metal, and Everything Else"— Presentation transcript:

1 Diverting MSW – Part Two – Plastic, Metal, and Everything Else

2 Recycling Plastic Quick Facts
The first PET (plastic) bottle was recycled in 1977 (The National Association of PET Container Resources) Energy savings per tonne of finished plastic bottles is enough to fill a 20-gallon gas tank every week for ten years. 10 plastic soft drink bottles are required to make the fiberfill for one ski jacket (Greater Vancouver Regional District: Just the Facts) Recycling plastics uses only 5% to 10% as much energy as making new plastic. Recycling a tonne of PET containers saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space.

3 About 7% of all household waste is plastic.
Annually, 3 million tonnes of plastic rubbish are produced. 57% of litter found on beaches is plastic. In 2001 only 7% of all plastic was recycled. 3

4 Uses of plastics - Statistics
Plastic products contribute 7% by weight and 30% by volume to municipal solid waste (Recycling Council of Ontario) Uses of plastics - Statistics

5 Numbering System for Plastic Recycling
Recycling No. Abbreviation Polymer Name PET Polyethylene Terephthalate HDPE High-Density Polyethylene PVC or V Polyvinyl Chloride LDPE Low-Density Polyethylene PP Polypropylene PS Polystyrene OTHER Other plastics, including acrylic, polycarbonate, polylactic acid , nylon and fiberglass.

6 Types of Plastics and Their Uses
Polymer Name Uses Polyethylene Terephthalate Recycled to produce polyester fibres, thermoformed sheet, strapping, soft drink bottles, reinforcement for concrete. High-Density Polyethylene Recycled to become various bottles, grocery bags, recycling bins, agricultural pipe, base cups, car stops, playground equipment, and plastic lumber, flower pot, toys Polyvinyl Chloride Recycled to become pipe, fencing, and non-food bottles. Low-Density Polyethylene Recycled to become plastic bags, various containers, dispensing bottles, wash bottles, tubing, and various molded laboratory equipment. Polypropylene Recycled into auto parts and industrial fibers. Polystyrene Recycled into a wide range of products including office accessories, cafeteria trays, toys, video cassettes and cases, insulation board and styrofoam. The coextruded plastics (more than 1 layers of plastics)….how to recycle???

7 Benefits and Costs of Plastic Packaging
Plastics have a weight & volume advantage over many other packaging materials Germany Society for Research for Packaging Market estimates without plastics, the cost of packaging would be double and the volume of packaging would increase by 250% BUT The use of plastic packaging raises several problems; Recycling rate of plastics is poor most plastics are subject to natural degradation Potential harmful off-gases when plastics are incinerated does not address overconsumption of natural resources

8 From the following data, the largest component of waste is paper product (34.1% by weight), followed by plastics (19.9%) Example of materials in solid waste landfills by (a) volume and (b) weight (in recent year)

9 Why Recycle Plastic? Conservation of non-renewable fossil fuels - Plastic production uses 8% of the world's oil production. Reduced consumption of energy. Reduced amounts of solid waste going to landfill. Reduced emissions of GHG 9














23 The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Video http://www. youtube. com/watch
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Video The Story of Bottled Water Video

24 Recycling of Plastics Refers to the reprocessing and refabricationof a material by a consumer or disposal of solid waste This type of recycle is called postconsumer recycle (PCR)- different with recycle (generally called regrind) of the scrap from manufacturing process Reprocessing and refabrication of PCR involves several steps; Collection Handling/sorting Reclamation/sorting End-use fabrication

25 How are plastics recycled?
Plastics must be sorted prior to mechanical recycling. Most sorting for mechanical recycling is done by trained staff who manually sort the plastics into polymer type and/or colour. 25

26 Mechanical recycling of plastics refers to processes which involve the melting, shredding or granulation of waste plastics. The plastic is either melted down directly and molded into a new shape, or melted down after being shredded into flakes and than processed into granules called regranulate

27 End Uses for PCR Comingled Sorted
can be used in the same applications or other applications Comingled Cannot be recycled back into their original product The most common product is plastic wood PCR plastic cannot be used in in medical and food-contacting applications due to danger of contamination and disease Thermoplastic- can be reheated and reprocessed many times (with minor changes in resin properties)

28 How Plastic is Made and Recycled Video

29 Recycling Metal Nearly 55% of every aluminum can is made from recycled aluminum (American Recycler) • Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy required to process it from bauxite (the highest theoretical potential for saving energy)


Aluminum is 100% recyclable! It is a sustainable metal, so aluminum can be recycled over and over again. Two-thirds of aluminum ever produced IS IN USE TODAY! Recycling 40 cans conserves the same energy as one gallon of gasoline. Recycled aluminum requires less energy, so it produces 95% LESS emissions, such as greenhouse gases. Nearly 55% of every aluminum can is made from recycled aluminum (American Recycler) Recycling one aluminum can saves the amount of energy to light one 100 watt bulb for 20 hours or run a TV for 3 hours.

Building and Construction consumes 12.6% of the total shipment of aluminum Transportation - 32% Consumer Durables - 6% Electrical - 6.7% Machinery & Equipment - 6.6% Containers & Packaging %

33 How Stuff Works Recycling Aluminum

34 Electronics – Quick Facts
More than 140,000 tonnes of computer equipment, phones, televisions, stereos and small home appliances accumulate in Canadian landfills each year That’s equivalent to the weight of about 28,000 adult African elephants or enough uncrushed electronic waste to fill up the Rogers Centre every 15 years (Environment Canada)

35 “E-waste” is a new and growing problem
Disposed of in landfills, but should be treated as hazardous waste Some people and businesses are trying to use and reuse electronics to reduce waste 35

36 How E-Waste is Recycled Video http://www. youtube. com/watch
How E-Waste is Recycled Video The Story of Electronics Video

37 But What About Europe? Very different policy framework
Recycling strongly established Strong focus on hierarchy Prevention, reuse, recycling key elements EU Target: by 2020, 50% of municipal solid waste and 70% of waste from construction, demolition, industry and manufacturing must be re-used or recycled. Netherlands currently at 66% diversion Germany at 65% diversion New targets increase recycling, limit recovery

38 Recycling has grown rapidly and can expand further

39 Questions concerning the costs of recycling
Should recycling programs be subsidized by governments even if they are run at an economic loss? What types of external costs—costs not reflected in market prices— do you think would be involved in not recycling, say, aluminum cans? Do you feel these costs justify sponsoring recycling programs even when they are not financially self-supporting? Why or why not? 18-39 39

40 Recycling and composting are making rapid progress
Conclusion Modern methods of waste management are far safer for people and gentler on the environment Recycling and composting are making rapid progress Our prodigious consumption habits have created more waste than ever before Finding ways to reduce, reuse and efficiently recycle the materials and goods that we use stands as a key challenge for this century 18-40 40 40

41 QUESTION: Review All of the following are three main components of waste management except: Minimizing the amount of waste we generate Recovering waste materials and finding ways to recycle them Disposing of waste safely and effectively All of these are components of waste management      Answer: d 18-41 41 41

42 QUESTION: Review Within a sanitary landfill, waste is…
      Poured into deep wells Stored in large piles and then burned Buried in the ground or piled up in large, carefully engineered mounds Put onto barges and shipped overseas Answer: c 18-42 42 42

43 QUESTION: Review What are some ways we can reduce the amount of items entering the waste stream? Donate used items to charity Buy groceries in bulk Buy rechargeable batteries All of the above are ways to reduce the waste stream Answer: d 18-43 43 43

44 QUESTION: Interpreting Graphs and Data
Which statement is false for this figure? Paper makes up most of the solid waste Compostable material is a significant part of solid waste Glass recycling would have the greatest impact on solid waste Metals are part of solid waste Answer: c 44 44

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