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35 years ago i started recycling food slop and household paper wastes by composting them through my worm bins into top soil.
20 years ago using a small cement mixer I found and repaired, I was able to make a mill to reduce glass to sand. to use in making concrete.

This past month, I studied on how to recycle my plastic soda bottles and my first project was to try making a soda bottles recycled to a small window pane sized piece.

Except for a few air bubbles , it looked good.

My next effort will be to figure out how to flow the polymer from the primary heat chamber to a heated easily controlled temperature reduced mold chamber with a vacuum pump like we used to out gas bubbles from polymer seals where I worked.

Somewhere later down the line hopefully I will figure products I could make at home, if I live long enough LOL.


What are some of the things you try to recycle / upcycle / reduce / convert at your home place ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Posted 5/4/21 2:10 AM CDST

Snowfan,

Even though I compost top soi to build up my property and sell ,make sand for my and some of my contractor's needs in making patch cement and cash out my aluminum, steel food cans and scrap metal, I still put my bin out weekly..

The county sanitation department charges us $16 a month on our electric bill for weekly trash pick up, my cart with my 1 to 5 plastic grocery sacks of none reusable trash and ivy my ex put out around the house that I pull up so it doesn't destroy my siding goes in with any overflow from my neighbor on my north property line.

He has his daughter and 5 grand kids living with him again and really needs two bins, but if he orders one, the sanitation dept will increase his fee to $28 a month and he cuts me discounts on mechanic labor.

Since our trash bin charge is not something i can opt out of and if he got a second bin , he would be stuck with the extra until his electric service is discontinued, he puts his bin overflow in his old manual dump cans and drives the them over to put in my 6 can bin and puts it by the road for me.

We do that to make sure most of the bins on our road are out every week despite the 7 or 8 old widows and widowers on our road who only put their trash out once a month and brag of not needing wekly pick up even though three of them complain to me how hard their bins are to drag with the equivalent of 6 normal cans when they put them out

Even though I don't produce much trash for pick up, i would hate for the county to cut us back to once every 2 week or worse once a month because on top of the livestock smell we are used to, on trash days we would have the added fragrance of New York or Chicago during a garbage strike.
 

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Turn glass back to sand?...What's the energy cost to do so?

Recycle plastic?...Same question.....Remember, virgin plastic is made out of a waste product itself. If we didn't use those otherwise useless, short chain hydrocarbons left over in petroleum cracking, they'd wind up out-gassed or in the dump anyway.
 

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Around here the county doesn’t even bother hauling it away anymore. We just dump it in the bins and they take it and later run over it with loaders and toss it with the new batch of asphalt for the road bed. That’s what they say anyways and as long as it’s free I don’t care what they do with it.

Look what they do with that debris left over from coal burning electricity plants. They put it in cement at the plant where they make it. Somehow it makes the concrete stronger or better in some way.
 

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The concept of "trash day" seems odd to me. We have no trash pickup day. We have to take our recycleables to a recycleing center 30 miles away. I guess this is good and bad.
Trash pickup might be a good thing but our township has less than 100 homes so, financially, it probably doesn't make sense.
 

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As others have alluded to, using glass as aggregate in glassphalt or glasscrete only requires breaking it down a bit, not to sand size (but there's probably nothing wrong with breaking some of it down all the way).
With respect to bubbles in the plastic pane, sometimes putting an object under pressure will reduce the bubbles to an acceptable size.
I've seen a couple of woodturning videos where resin is part of the matrix, and the consensus seems to be that pressure is often easier and more effective than vacuum, but hot plastic might be different enough from resin that the similarities might not hold.
 

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We recycle everything, and reduce what is left over, on top of recycling:
  • Food scraps to chickens, anything else food-related to compost.
  • all recycleables to their bins, then to a nearby big city recycle place (that still operates, thank goodness) ... cardboard, paper, glass, steel, etc. When we make a supply run to the city, the recycled stuff goes with us on the way in, and supplies go with us on the way out.
Anything remaining in the waste stream gets compressed in a trash compactor, and stored in itty-bitty bags. When enough of those stack up, we make a dump run ourselves, which is about once every 6 - 8 weeks. Where everyone else is pulling up with a trailer, and it takes them 15 minutes to get everything off, we pull up in a car, open the hatch, and throw out these compacted bags in about 15 seconds, and are out of there.

The good news here is that we have cut out yet another of those monthly "fees" to have our "trash" hauled away ... why these have to be captive to a utility bill is beyond me, but perhaps compacted trash would help there, if "bin-bound".

Finally, in other posts, I describe how we reduce down the "appliance" stuff that breaks down; the constantly growing stream of disposable items that break and can't be fixed because they weren't manufactured to be that way. We take them apart, and everything goes into its stream ... metals & plastics to recycle, screws & motors & such to my shed for reusable parts ("One day, son, this will all be yours!", if you recall that cartoon), and electrical boards to a special bin for the electronics recyclers who extract valuable metals from them.

There's nothing left, after that, and ... "look Ma, no monthly fees"!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Posted 5/7/21 12:29 AM CDST

Turn glass back to sand?...What's the energy cost to do so?

Recycle plastic?...Same question.....Remember, virgin plastic is made out of a waste product itself. If we didn't use those otherwise useless, short chain hydrocarbons left over in petroleum cracking, they'd wind up out-gassed or in the dump anyway.
On my small scale, the conversion costs are negligible as the cement mixer use to break the glass down and ovens I am now using for my polymer conversions are electric and I have not exceeded or increased my electric budget since 2004.

Also all of my tinker shop and R&D home lab equipment I buy, I pay for from the scrap metal and aluminum cans I collect here and from family and friends who don't want to be bothered with the effort.

My scrap money and discount sources has kept me in engineering themed tinkering to keep me active and learning without exceeding my company pension for over 20 years while dramatically decreasing my contribution of hard to compost wastes to the local landfill.
 

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What about making paving stones.
My electricity is high so i dont run anything extra if i dont have too. Our area recycling stopped taking glass and plastic. And you have to drive to town and catch it when its open. Too cold closed too hot closed no people on work parole closed. I gave up my gas costs too much to fool around with trash.
 
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