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Resource recovery is the selective extraction of disposed materials for a specific next use, such as recycling, composting or energy generation in order to extract the maximum benefits from products, delay the consumption of virgin resources, and reduce the amount of waste generated.

 

Recycling of solid waste:

Recycling is a resource recovery practice that refers to the collection and reuse of disposed materials such as empty beverage containers. The materials from which the items are made can be reprocessed into new products. Material for recycling may be collected separately from general waste using dedicated bins and collection vehicles, or sorted directly from mixed waste streams.

The most common consumer products recycled include aluminium such as beverage cans, copper such as wire, steel food and aerosol cans, old steel furnishings or equipment, polyethylene and PET bottles, glassbottles and jars, paperboard cartons, newspapers, magazines and light paper, and corrugated fiber boardboxes.

PVC, LDPE, PP, and PS are also recyclable. These items are usually composed of a single type of material, making them relatively easy to recycle into new products. The recycling of complex products (such as computers and electronic equipment) is more difficult, due to the additional dismantling and separation required.

The type of recycling material accepted varies by city and country. Each city and country have different recycling programs in place that can handle the various types of recyclable materials.

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Organic Matter:

Disposed materials that are organic in nature, such as plant material, food scraps, and paper products, can be recycled using biological composting and digestion processes to decompose the organic matter. The resulting organic material is then recycled as much or compost for agricultural or landscaping purposes. In addition, waste gas from the process (such as methane) can be captured and used for generating electricity and heat (CHP/ cogeneration) maximising efficiencies. The intention of biological processing is to control and accelerate the natural process of decomposition of organic matter.
There is a large variety of composting and digestion methods and technologies varying in complexity from simple home compost heaps, to small town scale batch digesters, industrial-scale enclosed-vessel digestion of mixed domestic waste. Methods of biological decomposition are differentiated as being aerobic or anaerobic methods, though hybrids of the two methods also exist.

Anaerobic digestion of the organic fraction of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) has been found to be in a number of LCA analysis studies to be more environmentally effective, than landfill, incineration or pyrolysis. The resulting biogas (methane) though must be used for cogeneration (electricity and heat preferably on or close to the site of production) and can be used with a little upgrading in gas combustion engines or turbines. With further upgrading to synthetic natural gas it can be injected into the natural gas network or further refined to hydrogen for use in stationary cogeneration fuel cells. Its use in fuel cells eliminates the pollution from products of combustion. There is a large variety of composting and digestion methods and technologies varying in complexity from simple home compost heaps, to small town scale batch digesters, industrial-scale, enclosed-vessel digestion of mixed domestic waste. Methods of biological decomposition are differentiated as being aerobic or anaerobic methods, though hybrids of the two methods also exist.

 

Waste Hirarchy

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A proper application of the waste hierarchy in your work can help prevent emissions greenhouse gases, reduces pollutants , save energy, conserves resources, create jobs and stimulate the development of green technologies.

 

Reduce of Waste

Waste minimization is a process of elimination that involves reducing the amount ofwaste produced in society and helps to eliminate the generation of harmful and persistent wastes, supporting the efforts to promote a more sustainable society.

  1. Bring reusable bags and containers when shopping, traveling, or packing lunches or leftovers.
  2. Choose products that are returnable, reusable, or refillable over single-use items.
  3. Avoid individually wrapped items, snack packs, and single-serve containers. Buy large containers of items or from bulk bins whenever practical.
  4. Be aware of double-packaging - some "bulk packages" are just individually wrapped items packaged yet again and sold as a bulk item.
  5. Purchase items such as dish soap and laundry detergents in concentrate forms.
  6. Compost food scraps and yard waste. Food and yard waste accounts for about 11 percent of the garbage thrown away in the Twin Cities metro area. Many types of food scraps, along with leaves and yard trimmings, can be combined in your backyard compost bin.
  7. Reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive. The average resident in America receives over 30 pounds of junk mail per year.
  8. Shop at second-hand stores.  You can find great used and unused clothes at low cost to you and the environment.  Buy quality clothing that won't wear out and can be handed down, whether to other people you know or on to a thrift store.
  9. Buy items made of recycled content, and use and reuse them as much as you can. For instance, use both sides of every page of a notebook before moving on to the next clean notebook.  Use unneeded, printed on printer paper for a scratch pad.
Also, remember that buying in bulk rather than individual packages will save you lots of money and reduce waste! Packaging makes up 30% of the weight and 50% of trash by volume. Buy juice, snacks, and other lunch items in bulk and use those reusable containers each day.

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Reuse of Waste

Reuse is the action or practice of using something again, whether for its original purpose (conventional reuse) or to fulfil a different function (creative reuse or repurposing). It should be distinguished from recycling, which is the breaking down of used items to make raw materials for the manufacture of new products.

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Recycling of Waste

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Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into reusable materials and objects. It is an alternative to "conventional" waste disposal that can save material and help lower greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling can prevent the waste of potentially useful materials and reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, thereby reducing: energy usage, air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from landfillling).

 

Energy Waste (Generating energy from waste materials)

Waste energy is the process of generating energy in the form of electricity and/ or heat from the primary treatment of waste. Most Waste energy processes produce electricity and/or heat directly through combustion, or produce a combustible fuel commodity, such as methane, methanol, ethanol or synthetic fuels.

 

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Incineration of Waste (Incineration as a disposal method of waste materials)

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Incineration of waste materials converts the waste into ash, flue gas, and heat. The ash is mostly formed by the inorganic constituents of the waste, and may take the form of solid lumps or particulates carried by the flue gas.

 

Landfill (A site for the disposal of waste materials)

A landfill site (also known as a tip, dump, rubbish dump, garbage dump or dumping ground) is a site for the disposal of waste materials by burial and is the oldest form of waste treatement. Landfills have been the most common method of organized waste disposal and remain so in many places around the world.

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