Waste Management: 3 Surprising Uses Of Recycled Waste
The average American generates approximately 4.3 pounds of waste each and every day, and approximately 55% of the 220 million tons of waste generated by the U.S. each year will end up in landfills. The absurd amount of waste generated is largely driven by consumerism and the need to have the latest electronics, fashion apparel and accessories, gadgets, toys and more. If this disgusts you, just know that you can make a difference by recycling and by signing up for waste management programs in your local area. These programs aim to recycle waste products in many creative and different ways in an attempt to save the environment. If you're wondering where your waste goes, here are 3 surprising places you probably never imagined.
Turning Pulp Waste Into Cement Composites
Newspaper, cardboard boxes, books, wood and other sources of cellulose fiber can be recycled and transformed into many different products, as they are quite versatile in nature thanks to their unique chemical and molecular nature. While a large percentage of pulp waste is reused for the production of paper, books, and other paper products, you'd probably be surprised to know that a lot of recycled pulp wastes can be found in cement.
Pulp wastes are commonly used as partial substitutions of fillers in the production of bitumen modifiers, with the main objective of achieving better quality road surfacing materials. Fiber additives are able to reduce noise, improve durability and provide enhanced binding properties.
Making Use Of Old Mattresses
Mattresses should be replaced every 7 years or so. Unfortunately, most Americans don't realize that mattresses can be recycled, and, as a result, many mattresses actually end up in landfills. Some waste management programs do accept mattresses although you might have to give them a heads up on when you plan on leaving your mattress at the curb. If you've ever wondered where recycled mattresses go, and what they're made into, you'll be surprised to find out that almost every part of your old mattress can be reused.
The mattresses are generally taken apart. Springs and other metal parts are collected as scrap metal and refined while the rest is recycled and transformed into foam products and clothing.
Upgrading Old Batteries Into Solar Cells
More and more waste management programs are also including batteries into their program. Old batteries were not usually recycled before, as they were a potential source for lead pollution; however, MIT researchers have found out that old batteries can be made into solar cells with a power-conversion efficiency of more than 19% in 2014, and have even detailed the process on how to do so.
Many companies have begun implementing mechanisms to incorporate the recycling processes involved with transforming old, dingy batteries into high-tech solar cells into their waste management program, so they can once again be used for something useful. If not, it's still a good idea to find waste management programs near you that can handle electronic waste and batteries since they contain toxic substances and elements that could easily pollute and contaminate the surrounding environment.
Deciding What To Do
Before you toss something into the garbage can, consider whether it can be recycled or not. Many waste management programs will provide you with different containers for storing different types of wastes. Others will actually manually sort through the waste that they collect in order to make sure that recyclable products do not end up merely taking up space in landfills. Find a waste management program that emphasizes on recycling as many different types of waste products as possible. With the growing amount of waste that is being generated on a daily basis, make sure that you are a part of the solution, and not a part of the problem. For more information on waste management, consider contacting a professional like those at B-P Trucking Inc.