Paper Recycling

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Recycle

Paper is one of the most common types of waste in Singapore and 1.26 million tonnes of paper waste was generated in 2013. The recycling rate of paper is 54% in 2013, and most of this paper waste is sorted, baled and exported overseas for recycling as there are no paper recycling mills in Singapore.

Let’s take a closer look at paper recycling:

1. Types of Paper for Recycling

The different types of paper waste are collected and usually separated into the following categories for recycling.

  • Newspapers
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Magazines
  • White office paper
  • Mixed paper

2. Why Recycle Paper

There are environmental benefits to paper recycling. According to Waste Online:

Producing recycled paper involves between 28 – 70% less energy consumption than virgin paper and uses less water. This is because most of the energy used in papermaking is the pulping needed to turn wood into paper.

Recycled paper produces fewer polluting emissions to air (95% of air pollution) and water. Recycled paper is not usually re-bleached and where it is, oxygen rather than chlorine is usually used. This reduces the amount of dioxins which are released into the environment as a by-product of the chlorine bleaching processes.

3. The Paper Recycling Process

At the paper recycling plant, sorted paper goes into a pulper where they are washed and screened to remove unwanted items like metals and plastics. The paper pulp then undergoes a floatation process to remove inks and adhesives. The resulting paper slurry is spread on wire meshes and drained of water using rollers to form sheets of paper.

Watch this animation video on the paper recycling process from RecycleBank:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWH1Mg8gdic[/youtube]

 

4. Recycled Paper Products

Paper waste such as white office paper, corrugated cartons and newspapers can be recycled back to its original use. Magazines, mixed paper, newspapers and corrugated cartons are recycled as cardboards, toilet papers, paper towels, egg cartons, kraft paper, etc.

Watch how toilet paper is made from recycled paper:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrg_6dny6Po[/youtube]

5. Paper Recycling in Singapore

In Singapore, about 1.26 million tonnes of paper waste was generated in 2013 and the recycling rate is 54%. Paper waste is usually collected through the recycling programmes and traditionally by the karang guni men, waste paper collectors and traders.

The paper waste are sorted by type, baled or placed in containers, and exported overseas for recycling as there are no paper recycling mills in Singapore.

6. Collectors, Traders and Recycling Companies for Paper

To find a recycling collector or someone who wants your paper waste, check out NEA’s list of collectors and traders.

For companies, you can use the online business waste exchange, Waste is not Waste, to find someone who wants your waste.

7. What Can I Do

You can recycle paper through the various recycling programmes at home, in school and your office, or through the public recycling bins. But before you do so, remember to Reduce and Reuse your paper waste.

Plastics Recycling

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Recycle

In Singapore, 832,200 tonnes of plastic waste was generated in 2013 and the recycling rate is 11%. Plastic waste, especially plastic bottles and containers, are usually sorted, baled and exported overseas for recycling. There are also plastic recycling companies in Singapore that sort and process plastic waste into small pellets to be used as feedstock for making plastics products.

Let’s take a closer look at plastics recycling:

1. Types of Plastics for Recycling

Plastic waste can be divided into pre-consumer and post-consumer plastic waste. Pre-consumer plastic waste are plastic scraps generated by companies during the manufacturing of products. These plastics are usually easier to recycle as they are clean and homogeneous.

Post-consumer plastic waste are generated by the consumers after use. These plastics are usually not favored by recyclers as they are difficult to collect, easily contaminated with food, and not homogeneous.

There are many types of plastics in the market. To make sorting and recycling easier, The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) in the United States developed the SPI resin identification code to provide a standard marking code for consumers to identify the main types of plastics.

It is quite common to find this identification code on plastic bottles and products. There are seven types of plastic codes:

1. PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) – Used for water bottles, soft drink and cooking oil bottles, and meal trays.

2. HDPE (High density polyethylene) – Used for milk and detergent bottles.

3. PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) – Used for plastic pipes, food trays, shrink wrap, and bottles.

4. LDPE (Low density polyethylene) – Used for plastic bags and bin liners.

5. PP (Polypropylene) – Used for bottle caps, margarine tubs, and meal trays.

6. PS (Polystyrene) – Used for food containers, egg cartons, vending cups, plastic cutlery, and protective packaging for electronic goods.

7. OTHER – Includes any other plastic that does not fall into the above categories.

 

2. Why Recycle Plastics

By recycling plastics, we reduce the environmental impacts associated with the production and disposal of plastics. The production of plastics requires significant quantities of non-renewable fossil fuels and according to Waste Online:

It is estimated that 4% of the world’s annual oil production is used as a feedstock for plastics production and an additional 3-4% during manufacture.

Plastics are non-biodegradable and takes hundreds of years to break down. When they are landfilled, they take up landfill space. When they are incinerated, they release carbon dioxide and potential toxic gases such as dioxins.

3. The Plastics Recycling Process

At the plastics recycling plant, plastic waste are sorted according to their type and colour manually, by optical sensors or by a flotation process. The sorted plastics are shredded, washed and then melted to produce strands of plastics. The strands are cut into small pellets, which are used as feedstock for making new plastics products.

Watch this animation video on the plastics recycling process from RecycleBank:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccubxZfwUFI[/youtube]

4. Recycled Plastic Products

Depending on the type of plastics, the recycled plastic pellets can be used to make a wide range of plastic products such as plastic bags, containers, trays, pipes, CD cases, garden furniture, carpets, and clothing.

5. Plastics Recycling in Singapore

In Singapore, 832,200 tonnes of plastic waste was generated in 2013 and the recycling rate is 11%. Pre-consumer and post-consumer plastic waste are usually collected by the plastics collectors and traders, and through the recycling programmes.

For pre-consumer plastics, there are plastic recycling companies in Singapore that sort and process these waste into small pellets to be used as feedstock for making plastics products. Pre-consumer plastic waste are also sorted and exported overseas for recycling.

Common types of post-consumer plastics that are collected include PET and HDPE bottles and containers, which are sorted, baled and exported overseas for recycling.

6. Collectors, Traders and Recycling Companies for Plastics

To find a recycling collector or someone who wants your plastic waste, check out NEA’s list of collectors and traders.

For companies, you can use the online business waste exchange, Waste is not Waste, to find someone who wants your waste.

7. What Can I Do

You can recycle plastics through the various recycling programmes at home, in school and your office, or through the public recycling bins. But before you do so, remember to Reduce and Reuse your plastic waste.

Metal Recycling

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Recycle

Metal scrap is one of the largest type of waste generated in Singapore. In 2013, about 1.41 million tonnes of ferrous metal scrap and 135,100 tonnes of non-ferrous metal scrap was generated. The recycling rate is 97% for ferrous metal and 84% for non-ferrous metal in 2013.

Ferrous metal scrap is usually sent to a local steel mill for recycling or exported. Non-ferrous metal scrap is usually sorted and exported overseas for recycling.

Let’s take a closer look at metal recycling:

1. Types of Metal for Recycling

Metals are divided into two types: ferrous metal (iron and steel) that are magnetic, and non-ferrous metal (stainless steel, aluminium, copper, brass, bronze, nickel, and other metals) that are non-magnetic.

The common types of metal scrap in Singapore are:

  • Steel (drink cans, aerosol cans, food containers, bars, beams, wires, pipes, chains, electrical goods, cars, etc)
  • Stainless steel (clippings, sheets, turnings, etc)
  • Aluminium (drink cans, clippings and turnings, windows and door frames, aluminium casting and sheet, etc)
  • Copper (copper wires, strips, etc)

2. Why Recycle Metal

It is easy and cost-effective to recycle metal, and metal can be recycled continuously without losing its properties. In addition, recycling metal reduces the environmental impacts associated with metal mining and production. According to Waste Online:

Recycling aluminium requires only 5% of the energy and produces only 5% of the CO2 emissions as compared with primary production and reduces the waste going to landfill. Aluminium can be recycled indefinitely, as reprocessing does not damage its structure. Aluminium is also the most cost-effective material to recycle.

Recycling one tonne of steel cans saves 1.5 tonnes of iron ore, 0.5 tonnes of coal & 40% water usage.

Recycling 1 tonne of steel scrap saves 80% of the CO2 emissions produced when making steel from iron ore.

3. The Metal Recycling Process

At the metal recycling plant, sorted metal scrap goes into a furnace at high temperature. The molten metal is poured into casts to produce ingots or rolled into sheets of metal.

Watch this animation video on the metal recycling process from RecycleBank:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGJdjwD-OCc[/youtube]

4. Recycled Metal Products

Metal scrap can be 100% recycled into metal bars, sheets and ingots for making new metal products such as drink cans, metal construction materials, and car parts.

5. Metal Recycling in Singapore

In Singapore, about 1.41 million tonnes of ferrous metal scrap was generated and the recycling rate is 97% in 2013. For non-ferrous metal scrap, 135,100 tonnes was generated and the recycling rate is 84% in 2013. All types and sizes of metal scrap are collected by waste metal collectors and traders. Drink cans and metal containers are usually collected through the recycling programmes.

The metal scrap are sorted by type manually or by using magnets. The sorted metals are then cut, sheared, shredded, baled or briquetted for storage and transportation. Steel scrap is usually sent to a local steel mill for recycling or exported. Non-ferrous metal is usually exported overseas for recycling.

6. Collectors, Traders and Recycling Companies for Metal

To find a recycling collector or someone who wants your metal waste, check out NEA’s list of collectors and traders.

For companies, you can use the online business waste exchange, Waste is not Waste, to find someone who wants your waste.

7. What Can I Do

You can recycle metal scrap and metal cans through the various recycling programmes at home, in school and your office, or through the public recycling bins. But before you do so, remember to Reduce and Reuse your metal waste.

Glass Recycling

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Recycle

In Singapore, 73,500 tonnes of glass waste was generated in 2013 and the recycling rate is 20%. Glass waste is usually sorted and exported overseas for recycling as there are no glass recycling plants in Singapore.

Let’s take a closer look at glass recycling:

1. Types of Glass for Recycling

Glass bottles, jars, containers and glass sheets are collected and sorted into the different colours for recycling: Clear, Brown and Green.

2. Why Recycle Glass

There are environmental benefits to glass recycling. According to Waste Online:

If recycled glass is used to make new bottles and jars, the energy needed in the furnace is greatly reduced. After accounting for the transport and processing needed, 315kg of CO2 is saved per tonne of glass melted.

For every tonne of recycled glass used, 1.2 tonnes of raw materials are preserved.

Recycling reduces the amount of waste glass which needs to be landfilled. Although glass is inert and is not directly hazardous to the environment, it will remain there indefinitely.

3. The Glass Recycling Process

At the glass recycling plant, glass waste is sorted into different colours and crushed into small pieces called cullets. Contaminants such as paper and metal are removed, and the cullet is melted in a high temperature furnance. The molten cullet is then molded to form glass products.

Watch this animation video on the glass recycling process from RecycleBank:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kf8bWDPDSi8[/youtube]

4. Recycled Glass Products

Glass waste can be recycled continuously and made into new glass products like bottles, jars, containers and ornaments. The glass cullet can also be crushed into powder and used as material in making bricks, tiles, abrasives and replacement of sand.

Watch this video on how abrasives are made from recycled glass cullet powder:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xkAQncJ9ys[/youtube]

5. Glass Recycling in Singapore

In Singapore, 73,500 tonnes of glass waste was generated in 2013 and the recycling rate is 20%. Glass waste is usually collected through the recycling programmes. The glass waste is sorted and exported overseas for recycling as there are no glass recycling plants in Singapore.

It is also common for beer bottles to be collected from restaurants, hotels and food outlets for reuse in a local brewery (not included in the recycling figures).

6. Collectors, Traders and Recycling Companies for Glass

To find a recycling collector or someone who wants your glass waste, check out NEA’s list of collectors and traders.

For companies, you can use the online business waste exchange, Waste is not Waste, to find someone who wants your waste.

7. What Can I Do

You can recycle glass bottles and containers through the various recycling programmes at home, in school and your office, or through the public recycling bins. But before you do so, remember to Reduce and Reuse your glass waste.

Wood and Horticultural Waste Recycling

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Recycle

In Singapore, 332,400 tonnes of wood waste and 252,600 tonnes of horticultural waste was generated in 2013. The recycling rate is 77% for wood waste and 48% for horticultural waste.

Wood and horticultural waste are usually processed into wood chips for composting, cogeneration or used to make new wood products. Used wood pallets and crates can also be reconditioned.

Let’s take a closer look at wood and horticultural waste recycling:

Wood and Horticultural Waste Recycling in Singapore

Wood waste include pallets, crates, boxes, furniture and wood planks used in construction. Horticultural waste refers to tree trunks and branches, plant parts and trimmings generated during the maintenance and pruning of trees and plants all over Singapore.

Used wooden pallets and crates are usually sent to the recycling companies for repair and reconditioning. The pallets and crates are dismantled and the wood parts are cut to size and fixed back to form new pallets and crates.

Wood and horticultural waste are also sent to recycling companies to be grinded into wood chips. These wood chips can be used for composting, where they are piled together and turned frequently. After a few months, the wood chips would be broken down by microorganisms into mulch or compost.

This video shows a typical grinder for producing wood chips:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4e0v86n_yI[/youtube]

The wood chips are also used by some recycling companies to make new wood products. The wood chips are mixed with binders and pressed together to produce pallets, doors and floorings.

Some recycling companies use the wood chips as a fuel in cogeneration plants to produce heat and power simultaneously, whereas other companies process the wood chips and recycle them into charcoal products.

Collectors, Traders and Recycling Companies for Wood and Horticultural Waste

To find a recycling collector or someone who wants your wood waste, check out NEA’s list of collectors and traders.

For companies, you can use the online business waste exchange, Waste is not Waste, to find someone who wants your waste.

What Can I Do

If you have some wooden furniture that you don’t want, try to Give It Away or Sell for Cash before recycling them.