Recycling is one of the best ways to lower your carbon footprint and ensure that you are eco-friendly in your management of waste. If you talk to a waste disposal company, you’ll find that most of them now offer recycling services, but how do you choose the right one?
If you search “waste management near me” you’ll turn up a number of choices, but not all of them offer recycling. Ideally, you want a company that provides you with waste disposal, but also separates out the recyclable items and reuses them or turns them into something new.
Landfills are where waste goes if it is not recycled. Unfortunately, there is so much waste that the landfills would rapidly fill up if there were no alternatives. In most cases, the waste in the landfill breaks down and eventually turns back into soil. Food waste, rubbish like cardboard and paper, etc. can all decompose naturally and the landfill eventually turns back to soil.
However, not all rubbish is biodegradable. Some of it will stay there for years, if not centuries. For example, metal, plastic, and glass are not biodegradable. Plastic has the added issue of leaching chemicals and toxins into the soil around it, which can cause even more problems for the environment.
Landfills produce huge amounts of methane, a very dangerous greenhouse gas, which is bad for the environment and is destroying it. So how can recycling help with all this?
Recycling saves resources and reduces pollution. When a product is made, it requires resources, which have to be harvested, collected, or mined. This usually requires machinery which pollutes. Then you have the transportation to the factory where the product is made and this means more pollution. The energy used to produce the product is even more potential pollution, depending on where it comes from. And then, after being used, if the product is thrown away, it becomes another piece of rubbish in the ever-growing landfills.
Recycling stops many of these steps. Instead of harvesting more materials and causing further pollution and destruction, the product is simply reused. It’s broken down and remade into a new product, using a fraction of the resources and energy that a brand-new product does.
Save money: Recyclable materials help create income that offsets the need to collect and process the recyclables. It ends up being more cost effective.
Create jobs: One job in a landfill equates to 10 jobs in a recycling plant and 25 jobs in a recycling manufacturing plant. This is an industry that helps both people and the environment.
Prevent pollution: There are many issues with drilling and harvesting and mining for raw materials. Some of these materials are finite, as well. It helps to recycle, because much less pollution is produced.
Save energy: It takes far less energy to recycle something than it does to produce a new one. The amount depends on the type of material being recycled. For example, aluminium saves 95% of energy being recycled instead of new raw materials being used. Plastic saves 75%, steel saves 60%, and glass and paper both save 40%. As you can see, it has a big impact on energy usage.
You may be surprised at the wide range of products that can be recycled. The items suitable for recycling will depend on the waste disposal company and the recycling centre they use. However, the following items should be recyclable:
– Glass bottles and jars
– Plastic pots, containers, and trays
– Plastic bottles
– Food cartons
– Drink cartons
– Tetra packs
– Steel and aluminium cans
Many companies will also take wood and concrete, as well as garden waste, but again, you need to check with the individual company.
In general, you cannot recycle aerosol cans, plastic food wrappers, packages with food soaked in, polystyrene, paper towels and bin bags.
How are items recycled? It depends on the material. For example, paper is sorted into grades, shredded and cleaned and then mixed into a pulp. Once the remaining contaminants are removed, the pulp is dried and rolled to create fresh new paper. You’ll find recycled paper in toilet paper, cardstock, cereal boxes, and printing paper, among other things.
Newspaper and cardboard are recycled using a similar process to regular paper. However, if you have tins or cans that are to be recycled, it is cleaned and smelted to create new steel or aluminium sheets. This is then used to make more cans, as well as car parts and other metal items.
Plastic is shredded and cleaned, with bottle tops separated out. From there, the plastics are melted and turned into tiny pellets, which are then used to make more bottles or plastic containers. Plastic is often mixed recycled with virgin materials for better durability and stability.
Of course, glass can also be recycled and this is simply cleaned and all the various parts separated. Metal caps are recycled elsewhere and labels or plastics are removed and sent on to the landfill. The rest of the glass is sorted by colour and then melted and turned into windows, bottles, and other types of glass products.
There are many uses for recycled materials and they are usually just like the originals once melted down. You may continue to use and recycle the same items over and over again without worry.
You’ll likely want to select a waste management company that also offers recycling services. This helps ensure you can get rid of all your rubbish. Anything that can be recycled will be and that can help reduce your carbon footprint.
A recycling centre: Do they have their own space for sorting and recycling? The less distance the waste has to travel, the less pollution is produced and the fewer carbon emissions are released. If the company has their own recycling space, they are truly dedicated to keeping as much rubbish as possible out of the landfills.
Pickup service: Does the waste management company come to pick up the waste? While this isn’t strictly necessary, it is a good idea. After all, one lorry picking up waste around the city is more efficient than multiple cars driving to the recycling centre.
Reviews. Does the service have good reviews? This is a great way to check if they’re a company you wish to work with, as bad reviews can give you advance warning.
Recommendations: Has anyone recommended this company to you? If so, that can help you make your decision. Often, we recommend products and services we really find worthwhile to our friends and family. This can be a good place to start if you’re wondering who to go with.
Cost: Of course, you’ll want to consider the cost of using the rubbish service, so it’s a good idea to find out what various companies charge. From there, you can determine which one has the best price for the range of services they offer. Cheaper isn’t always better, but you do need to stay within your budget.
Experience with hazardous waste: If you have hazardous waste to dispose of, you should certainly check that the company can manage it. They should have the appropriate policies and gear in place to ensure the products are not dumped into a landfill or otherwise treated carelessly.
- Green waste practises: Does the company also accept green waste? If so, ask what their policy is. Are they putting the green waste into the rubbish or landfill? Do they compost it? The answer to this question will tell you quite a lot about a company.
When you find a waste company that works for your needs and still provides recycling services and green waste services, you’ll know you’ve found the right place. You can arrange to have regular waste days or you can go ahead and set up a skip hire to ensure all the waste is taken away at once.
Talk to the company about their services and learn more about what they do to be sustainable. You may be impressed at what they have going on and this can help you make a decision.
Are you searching for a good waste management company that also offers recycling services? Devon Contract Waste has just what you need. We run our own recycling centre and are happy to work with you to find a solution for your waste disposal.