The Second Life of Recycled Items
Stand Up Guys isn’t content with removing your junk and chucking it into the nearest landfill. Instead, we take measures to donate and recycle everything we can. So what becomes of your items upon recycling?
Paper is separated by type at a recycling plant and then shredded and pulped in a paper mill. Computer or notebook paper may be reincarnated as napkins, paper towels, facial tissue or even a roll of toilet paper. Newsprint is often recycled into a newer edition or as construction paper, egg cartons, Sheetrock or kitty litter, according to National Geographic. Paperboard can be re-purposed as the paper backing of roof shingles, paper towel rolls and, of course, more paperboard.
The Digital Age has given way to proliferating e-waste. Instead of retiring outdated gadgets to the landfill, there are better economical destinations for electronics. Many precious metals can be extracted from electronics and digital components like circuit boards and wiring. Gold, silver, copper, platinum, zinc and palladium are all found in cellphones—these metals can then be used to make jewelry, plating and other electronics, according to MNN.com. The recycled plastic from computer and TV cases have a future as a plethora of plastic products from replacement auto parts to garden furniture. Better yet, most electronics such as old computer components are wanted by techies to reuse in the construction of new computers. There also exists a demand for vintage electronics among hobbyists and collectors.
After your tires have lived their life transporting your vehicle, they have a slew of uses in various applications. Your old Michelin tire has the potential of one day becoming part of a children’s playground. In lieu of wood-chips and sand, tires can be converted into rubber mulch, a safer, softer alternative for playground surfaces. Tires can also be reformulated for the very roads they used to drive on. According to the EPA, ground tire rubber or crumb rubber can be blended with asphalt to form new roads. Tire rubber asphalt lengthens the life of roadways, produces less road noise and is cost effective for the state. Tires are even a great source of fuel because of their high heating value. Tire-derived fuel (TDF) is more eco-friendly than coal fuel and is used by many industries such as the cement industry and pulp and paper mills.
Depending on resin type, plastics are divided and sent to be shredded and melted into plastic pellets. These pellets are then used by manufacturing companies to form anything from clothing to kids’ playthings. Beverage containers may be reconstructed as other containers, outdoor play sets for children or plastic lumber, according to National Geographic. That soda or water bottle you just recycled could return to warm you up in the winter. Plastics can be incorporated into fleece blankets or the insulation of your winter jacket.