GreenFootPrints

UK's leading Recycling website

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    Recycling

    Award winning recycling website. Voted best recyling website 2010 and 2012

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  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    There are three key factors when thinking about how to recycle – The 3 R’s:

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  • Recycling Different Materials

    You can find out how to recycle different materials such as Glass, Batteries and Mobile Phones by simply using our list by clicking button below

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Household Recycling Guide

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A reminder of the three key factors when thinking about how to recycle. Just click button below to download the PDF and print it off.

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Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

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Print off our posters to remind you about the 3 R’s at home, in the classroom or at work. Just click button below to download the PDF and print it off.

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Word Search

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Have a go at our Recycling Guide Word Search. Help Crush find all 20 hidden words relating to recycling.

Just click to download the PDF and print it off on your home computer or at school.

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What You Can Do

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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There are three key factors when thinking about how to recycle – The 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Recycling Different Materials

You can find out how to recycle different materials such as Glass, Batteries and Mobile Phones by simply using our list on the right hand side.

Recycling Ettiquette

Recycling can sometimes be confusing and it can be difficult to know whether you are following all the right rules. Improve your recycling efforts by learning some recycling etiquette rules and check out which type of collection is best and why different areas recycle and collect in different ways.

What’s in your Rubbish Bin?

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A large percentage of UK household’s still do not recycle enough and throw everything that they consider ‘rubbish’ into their ordinary bin. Much of this waste can be recycled and should be disposed of separately to general household waste. Look inside this rubbish bin to see how much of the contents should actually have been recycled. Check our list on the right to see how to recycle different materials.

Where can you recycle?

As well as home recycling bins, there are many recycling banks across the UK that can be used to recycle different materials. They are located on streets across the UK as well as in supermarkets and outside housing estates.

Most recycling banks are emptied on a regular basis. However, if you do come across one that is over-flowing, contact your local council who will arrange for the bank to be emptied. You can also contact your local council to report vandalism to the recycle banks.

To find out where your local recycling bank is or if you want to know which materials can be recycled where, check the recycling point search here.

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Recycling consumer waste

Recycling is processing used materials (waste) into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution (from incineration) - and water pollution (from landfilling) by reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to virgin production.

Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" waste hierarchy. There are some ISO standards relating to recycling such as ISO 15270:2008 for plastics waste and ISO 14001:2004 for environmental management control of recycling practice.

Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, metal, plastic, textiles, and electronics. Although similar in effect, the composting or other reuse of biodegradable waste – such as food or garden waste – is not typically considered recycling.

Materials to be recycled are either brought to a collection center or picked up from the curbside, then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials bound for manufacturing. In the strictest sense, recycling of a material would produce a fresh supply of the same material—for example, used office paper would be converted into new office paper, or used foamed polystyrene into new polystyrene.

However, this is often difficult or too expensive (compared with producing the same product from raw materials or other sources), so "recycling" of many products or materials involves their reuse in producing different materials (e.g., paperboard) instead. Another form of recycling is the salvage of certain materials from complex products, either due to their intrinsic value (e.g., lead from car batteries, or gold from computer components), or due to their hazardous nature (e.g., removal and reuse of mercury from various items).

Critics dispute the net economic and environmental benefits of recycling over its costs, and suggest that proponents of recycling often make matters worse and suffer from confirmation bias. Specifically, critics argue that the costs and energy used in collection and transportation detract from (and outweigh) the costs and energy saved in the production process; also that the jobs produced by the recycling industry can be a poor trade for the jobs lost in logging, mining, and other industries associated with virgin production; and that materials such as paper pulp can only be recycled a few times before material degradation prevents further recycling.Proponents of recycling dispute each of these claims, and the validity of arguments from both sides has led to enduring controversy.



Collections & Sorting

Recycling and rubbish bin in a German railway station.

A number of different systems have been implemented to collect recyclates from the general waste stream. These systems lie along the spectrum of trade-off between public convenience and government ease and expense. The three main categories of collection are "drop-off centres", "buy-back centres" and "curbside collection".

Drop-off centres

Drop off centres require the waste producer to carry the recyclates to a central location, either an installed or mobile collection station or the reprocessing plant itself. They are the easiest type of collection to establish, but suffer from low and unpredictable throughput.

Curbside collection

Curbside collection encompasses many subtly different systems,which differ mostly on where in the process the recyclates are sorted and cleaned. The main categories are mixed waste collection, commingled recyclables and source separation. A waste collection vehicle generally picks up the waste.

At one end of the spectrum is mixed waste collection, in which all recyclates are collected mixed in with the rest of the waste, and the desired material is then sorted out and cleaned at a central sorting facility. This results in a large amount ofrecyclable waste, paper especially, being too soiled to reprocess, but has advantages as well: the city need not pay for a separate collection of recyclates and no public education is needed. Any changes to which materials are recyclable is easy to accommodate as all sorting happens in a central location.

Curbside collection...

In a Commingled or single-stream system, all recyclables for collection are mixed but kept separate from other waste. This greatly reduces the need for post-collection cleaning but does require public education on what materials are recyclable.

Source separation is the other extreme, where each material is cleaned and sorted prior to collection. This method requires the least post-collection sorting and produces the purest recyclates, but incurs additional operating costs for collection of each separate material. An extensive public education program is also required, which must be successful if recyclate contamination is to be avoided.

Buy-back centres

Buy-back centres differ in that the cleaned recyclates are purchased, thus providing a clear incentive for use and creating a stable supply. The post-processed material can then be sold on, hopefully creating a profit. Unfortunately government subsidies are necessary to make buy-back centres a viable enterprise, as according to the United States National Solid Wastes Management Association it costs on average US$50 to process a ton of material, which can only be resold for US$30.

Early sorting of recyclable materials:

Glass and plastic bottles in Poland. Once commingled recyclates are collected and delivered to a central collection facility, the different types of materials must be sorted. This is done in a series of stages, many of which involve automated processes such that a truck-load of material can be fully sorted in less than an hour. Some plants can now sort the materials automatically, known as single-stream recycling. A 30 percent increase in recycling rates has been seen in the areas where these plants exist.

Initially, the commingled recyclates are removed from the collection vehicle and placed on a conveyor belt spread out in a single layer. Large pieces of corrugated fiberboard and plastic bags are removed by hand at this stage, as they can cause later machinery to jam.

Early sorting of recyclable materials..

Next, automated machinery separates the recyclates by weight, splitting lighter paper and plastic from heavier glass and metal. Cardboard is removed from the mixed paper, and the most common types of plastic, PET (#1) and HDPE (#2), are collected. This separation is usually done by hand, but has become automated in some sorting centers: a spectroscopic scanner is used to differentiate between different types of paper and plastic based on the absorbed wavelengths, and subsequently divert each material into the proper collection channel.

Strong magnets are used to separate out ferrous metals, such as iron, steel, and tin-plated steel cans ("tin cans"). Non-ferrous metals are ejected by magnetic eddy currents in which a rotating magnetic field induces an electric current around the aluminium cans, which in turn creates a magnetic eddy current inside the cans. This magnetic eddy current is repulsed by a large magnetic field, and the cans are ejected from the rest of the recyclate stream. Finally, glass must be sorted by hand based on its color: brown, amber, green or clear.

Recycling industrial waste

The military recycles some metals. The U.S. Navy's Ship Disposal Program uses ship breaking to reclaim the steel of old vessels. Ships may also be sunk to create an artificial reef. Uranium is a very dense metal that has qualities superior to lead and titanium for many military and industrial uses. The uranium left over from processing it into nuclear weapons and fuel for nuclear reactors is called depleted uranium, and it is used by all branches of the U.S. military use for armour-piercing shells and shielding.

The construction industry may recycle concrete and old road surface pavement, selling their waste materials for profit. Some industries, like the renewable energy industry and solar photovoltaic technology in particular, are being proactive in setting up recycling policies even before there is considerable volume to their waste streams, anticipating future demand during their rapid growth

Recycling industrial waste cont..

The military recycles some metals. The U.S. Navy's Ship Disposal Program uses ship breaking to reclaim the steel of old vessels. Ships may also be sunk to create an artificial reef. Uranium is a very dense metal that has qualities superior to lead and titanium for many military and industrial uses. The uranium left over from processing it into nuclear weapons and fuel for nuclear reactors is called depleted uranium, and it is used by all branches of the U.S. military use for armour-piercing shells and shielding.

The construction industry may recycle concrete and old road surrface pavement, selling their waste materials for profit. Some industries, like the renewable energy industry and solar photovoltaic technology in particular, are being proactive in setting up recycling policies even before there is considerable volume to their waste streams, anticipating future demand during their rapid growth

10 Ways to recycle

1. Switch to 30°C

By switching your washing machine temperature to 30°C, you are saving energy and cutting your utility bills too.

With the help of modern detergents, a lower setting will still provide excellent washing results and can save at least 40% of electrical energy.

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2. Mail Preference Service

Are junk letters and leaflets blocking up your letterbox? Around 3.4 billion items of addressed direct mail are sent out every year requiring 180,000 tonnes of paper. Act now by reducing your paper waste and register online with the Mail Preference Service. Just signing up can stop around 80% of addressed direct unsolicited mail to your door.

Around 13 billion items of unaddressed direct mail are also sent out yearly. To stop leaflets and unaddressed mail being delivered by Royal Mail, send an email to optout@royalmail.com and request their ‘door-to-door opt-out form’.

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3. Go online

Switch to paperless billing by going online to manage your money and access your monthly bank statements.

As most UK newspapers and magazines are now based online too, so you can save money and paper by catching up with the news online.

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4. Vermicomposting

A great way to reduce your carbon footprint is to keep worms as pets in your kitchen or if you are a little squeamish – in your garden. We aren’t kidding. Worms are an effective and eco-friendly way of composting hundreds of pounds of kitchen waste every year.

They are said to be much faster than normal methods of composting. When green waste is properly composted at home, it doesn't give off methane, a gas which contributes to climate change.

The leftover compost can then be used in gardens and to plant houseplants which in turn create oxygen. For tips on making your very own wormery, click here.

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5. Turn electricals off standby

Couch potatoes who are too lazy to walk over to the TV and switch it off should know they are wasting money and energy. According to The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the average household wastes around £40 a year simply by leaving appliances on standby.

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6. Collect rainwater

Protect the environment and save on your water bills by collecting water from your very own garden to water the plants, wash the car or even your hair in it.

The average rainwater collection amount for a house with a 2,000-square-foot roof can be approximately 190,000 liters per year, depending on how much rain your area gets. Put a big bucket in your garden to collect the rain or install rainwater storage tanks.

It will runoff the gutters on your roof and fall directly into the tank. You can even heat it up after – using lower temperatures of course!

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7. Keep mobile phones for longer

In a world ruled by technology, it is difficult not to be tempted by the latest shiny new iPhone or Blackberry with all the latest features.

But the DECC suggests we can save on electrical waste by not replacing our mobile phones every year. They say most will work for at least five years. By recycling phones, you can help stop harmful chemicals getting into the environment rather than putting them with household rubbish.

8. Grow your own food

Growing vegetables at home diminishes the need for transport required to get food to your table otherwise known as ‘food miles’.

It also allows you to grow your food without the need for harmful and polluting chemicals. If you don’t have a garden, you can still grow some delicious vegetables in even the smallest of spaces such as a balcony or patio space.

If keeping a vegetable patch is too much of an effort, you can reduce food miles and therefore your carbon footprint by buying local organic produce. As the distance food travels decreases, so does the need for processing and refrigeration to reduce spoilage.

9. Load up

When using your washing machine, or dish washer, run them with full loads. Do this and save water, electricity, and washing powder. Also avoid wasted energy from tumble drying by drying clothes outside or on indoor dryers.

10. Say no to plastic bags

Plastic bags are massive eco-villains. Their production contributes to air pollution and lots of energy consumption. One plastic bag can take an astonishing 1,000 years to decompose.

If you haven’t already noticed, a number of retailers across the UK are charging for the use of plastic bags (usually 5p per bag) or encouraging shoppers to buy eco-friendly bags made of natural fibres to reuse over and over again.

These schemes are set to reduce the amount of ‘white pollution’ as 17 billion plastic bags are issued in the UK everyday.

If you are one of those people who rely on plastic bags, then reuse them to line your rubbish bins at home, rather than buying more polluting bin bags.

Recycling facts and figures

UK households produced 30.5 million tonnes of waste in 2003/04, of which 17% was collected or recycling (source: defra.gov.uk). This figure is still quite low compared to some of our neighbouring EU countries, some recycling over 50% of their waste. There is still a great deal of waste which could be recycled that ends up in landfill sites which is harmful to the environment. Recycling is an excellent way of saving energy and conserving the environment.

Some Interesting Facts

Did you know that:

  • 1 recycled tin can would save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.
  • 1 recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
  • 1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 3 hours.
  • 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials.

Some Interesting Facts

Did you know that:

  • Up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled.
  • The unreleased energy contained in the average dustbin each year could power a television for 5,000 hours.
  • The largest lake in the Britain could be filled with rubbish from the UK in 8 months.
  • On average, 16% of the money you spend on a product pays for the packaging, which ultimately ends up as rubbish.
  • As much as 50% of waste in the average dustbin could be composted.
  • Up to 80% of a vehicle can be recycled..
  • 9 out of 10 people would recycle more if it were made easier.

Aluminium

Did you know that:

  • 24 million tonnes of aluminium is produced annually, 51,000 tonnes of which ends up as packaging in the UK.
  • If all cans in the UK were recycled, we would need 14 million fewer dustbins.
  • £36,000,000 worth of aluminium is thrown away each year.
  • Aluminium cans can be recycled and ready to use in just 6 weeks.

Glass

Did you know that:

  • Each UK family uses an average of 500 glass bottles and jars annually.
  • The largest glass furnace produces over 1 million glass bottles and jars per day.
  • Glass is 100% recyclable and can be used again and again.
  • Glass that is thrown away and ends up in landfills will never decompose.

Paper

Did you know that:

  • Recycled paper produces 73% less air pollution than if it was made from raw materials.
  • 12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are used annually in the UK.
  • The average person in the UK gets through 38kg of newspapers per year.
  • It takes 24 trees to make 1 ton of newspaper.

Plastic

Did you know that:

  • 275,000 tonnes of plastic are used each year in the UK, that’s about 15 million bottles per day.
  • Most families throw away about 40kg of plastic per year, which could otherwise be recycled.
  • The use of plastic in Western Europe is growing about 4% each year.
  • Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose.

Contact Us

Green Recycling Ltd,
Quayside Industrial Park,
Bates Road,
Maldon,
Essex,
CM9 5FA

Telephone : 01628 942600
Fax : 01628 974630

Email : sales@greenfootprints.com

Email : house@greenfootprints.com

Any emails will be answered same day..

Further Information on Recycling Please Visit

http://www.recycling-guide.org.uk

http://www.recyclezone.org.uk/

http://www.greenrecycling.co.uk/.

Registered Carriers of Waste Registration Number : AEA/792880/CT (Issuing Authority: AEA).

Waste Managment Licence : EAWML-72693.

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