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Use it again,Sam

Hello folks,what is everyones take on recycling.The good,the bad,the messy.Should it be done if its not cost effective .Do you disagree with some current methods of recycling?

And what constitutes an acceptable reuse-Kevin

There is always room for improvement.  

Do you have any specific area of recycling that relates to automotive activities you would like comments on?

How about grills or any of that other plastic junk cars are composed of now,I am aware that there is probaly a concern about whether it is a thermoplastic or thermosetting plastic and how the strategic metals and of course our favorite plastic material-old tires-Kevin

On merit recycling makes sense. What are we recycling? Household or auto parts. The major problems are consistence, convenience and recoverable revenue. Not all recycling centers are equal and few of us want to drive around to deposit our recyclables and in times of economic downturn there is little space at these centers to store material until prices go up. Someone has to offer these centers and manpower costs keep increasing. There has to be a profitable market for recyclable. Lots of problems to consider.

The effectiveness of recycling currently varies all over the map.

Macadam is recycled by being ground up and reused. My understanding is that it’s more cost effective than using fresh macadam.

In Litchfield where I lived there was a recycling building at eth dump that had various areas for used TVs, sports equipment, appliances, bicycles, etc etc. Peoepl would bring their used stuff, leave it at teh appropriate place in the building, and others would pick the items up, repair them and they’d start another life. That is far and away the best form of recycling…continued use. I got vacuum cleaners, exercise equipment, and even TVs, books and games there. I refurbished bicycles and gave them to underprivaledged kids.

Tires have a limited recycling market. Some are ground and mixed with pavement, some are used to make other products, but most simply have no viable place to go.

Most of the recycling, plastic jugs and newspapers and the like, either cost more to recycle than to make from fresh or have limited market for the products.

I’m convinced that the only effective recycling involves either continued use of the items (vis-a-vis the recycling building at the town dump) or passing them on to another use like in heating boilers that burn used motor oil or ground up tires in pavement.

Mshugna,good point-but I believe community service in lieu of incarceration would take up some the slack on the manpower issue(depends on our priorities,I suppose).
Mtn Bike,I so agree with you-use and use it up.Its sickening to look at some the things that get discarded.And the sad thing around here is that junk “canvassing” is not encouraged and no provision is generally made to leave good items for other people to reuse-Kevin

Cars are probably the most-recycled item out there, easy to collect, move, take apart, and recycle. The big volume problems, paper being #1, are more of a problem. The economics stink. With the economic downturn recyclables are stacking up that had been going overseas. I got a kick out of one of those ‘how it works’ shows. They looked at a recycling facility. Guess what they did with all the plastic (regardless of the number in that little triangle) - they put it together, chopped it up, and molded recycling bins out of it. Kinda self defeating, isn’t it?

I used to be real anal and ocd about it-until I noticed some of the bins didnt have partitions.Now they wont even accept glass around here to recycle,they used to make a type of drywall with old newsprint(never seen any around here).I use old newspapers to clean glass with,works great-much better then paper towels-Kevin

The best form of recycling is to reduce the cycles. That is keep your car in service longer and not replacing it. Maintenance and proper repairs helps there. This is a place that can help you do just that.

Next is to not over buy. That is stop and think, do you really need that large SUV for two people and a dog? If you recycle a car that weights half as much you are doing good. You also safe a ton of fuel.

Now about that cost effective thing. There are two ways of looking at the cost effectiveness. First is cost effective to you. That one is not too difficult to figure out. But don’t forget the cost to society and future generations.

As a society we have a problem with incentives. It may well be far better for society and future generations to recycle certain things, but because we don’t personally see the benefit (it is enjoyed by others in our society and our grand children) we are not prompted to do the right thing. This is where government may come in and where you will find a lot of people who are not prepared to bother recycling will also object to government intervention, even when they themselves would benefit (think about clean water).

My long-since-passed-away grandfather probably never heard the word recycle except perhaps in reference to the wars (I&II) or the great depression. But he lived by the best of the recycling philosophies. He just kept fixing and using the same items. If something broke, he fixed it. If he got a new one for Xmas, he gave to old one to someone else who could use it.

That’s what people in his era did. They didn;t “recycle”, they just kept things in service.

Technology has caused us to develop into a throw away society. Many thing simply cannot be repaired, and others cannot continue in use, like for example an analog cellphone or a computer with a 386 harddrive. Or a CRT TV that’s losing its picture due to erosion of the cathode. And, frankly, many people cannot repair things themselves and repair places no longer exist for many things.

to add…a repair, if available, could cost more than purchasing it new.

It seems like ‘recyclable’ is now an excuse for ‘excess consumption’. I saw that some new cell phone are being made so that they can easily be recycled, a great excuse to replace them every 2 years, which otherwise would seem to be NUTS!

My biggest problem in the recycling game is technological obsolescence. I keep, repir, and use things forever of possible. I have a TV that I’m still using in my master bedroom that I bought in 1976. Needless to say, it’s no longer repairable. Parts no linger exist for it. When it dies, it’ll be off to the recycling center (the dump).

Agree; it’s important to distinguish between technological obsolescence and items with a short design life, such as electric kettles.

In the mid 60s I sold mainframe computers, which cost $500,000 for a 32K!!! machine. I knew that each new generation, 4 years later would be much more powerful so we leased them to users. Now you can buy a 500 Gigabyte machine for $600! with a 4 gig RAM. The same is happening to cellphones.

On the other hand, cookware and appliances have a very long development cycle and we still have the Corningware casseroles received as a wedding present in 1967. Our oldest TV dates from 2000, the newest from last year.

In Germany all cars have to have all their components stamped so that they can be completely recycled at the end of their lives. All containers have to be recycled as well.

Our family has been recycling since 1974 when we started participating in a neighborhood paper and tin can program. Presently we recycle all recyclable dry waste with the local sanitation, compost all that is compostable and only put out 3/4 of a bag as “garbage” each week.

That is commendable,anyway I experienced less then satisfactory results trying to repair gas BBQ grilles so many parts are not quite right,not to mention my stabs at computer repair,I do wish things were designed to be easily recycled-Kevin

Generally speaking, road-side recycling has been a failure. There are exceptions, but generally, the paper, the plastic, the glass, the tin cans wind up going to the dump anyway, just in a different truck. In the Denver area, there was great enthusiasm 10 years ago, with everyone sorting out their trash into designated recycling bins and compartmented trucks picking it up “for recycling”. Today, most of it goes to the dump in one truck, the bins are gone, the drop-off points closed, the recycling centers gone out of business…

It turns out, there was no market for the recycled products…It wasn’t clean enough or sorted well enough to be useful. In the end, it costs more money to use recycled material than it does to use new material…

Now METAL is another story. But recycling metals has been going on forever, that system has been in place for a long time…

10-4.I hope the metal car returns(something about hierloom quality)-Kevin

Kevin, I’m with you there. Germany is the only country I know of that has rules on “recyclability”, but that probably does not apply to computers imported from China.

Our area has an electroncis recycling program, and Staples, the office supply chain, is a particpant.

As for BBQs, I bought one in 1980 that served me well till 1998, although I had to to take it off its rusting frame and bolt it to a cedar work table. It sat on the back deck all year round but with a cover.

The current one is made of cast aluminum, cast iron, stainless steel, plastic, and some mild steel parts.

The dealer stocks a full range of parts, and so far only the spark iginiter has failed.

I try to make the things last,but so much salt and marinade gets on the burner assembly it just wont last and I dont get to cleanup anything up after the cookout anyway,my wife likes to send me out to cook on it in inclement weather.I do believe Docnick,if I bought a better grill and part sourced other then Wal-Mart,would probaly have better results.That electronic recycling program you metioned really sounds good,it would certainly help salve my conscience,to not to have to send a solder laden circut board to the landfill.These daggone TV sets sure are an enviromental insult.Some areas close to us do a rather agressive approach to old appliances and such.It seems like the only thing they really worry about around here,are the old tires.
People will go out of thier way to cheat and throw old tires along the roadways and pulloffs-I have absolutely no problem with paying 1-2$ to dispose of my old tires.Its a sad reflection on the state of some peoples"estates".Anyway according to my sources old tires burn cleaner then coal-so why not produce electricity with the old tires,to displace some of the mountaintops that are currently being evaporated into the atmosphere?-Kevin