The most complicated method is for recycling electronic waste because there are numerous types of waste generated worldwide. E-waste is first collected from bins and sorted (preferably by hand). Then, it goes through a size reduction process where the waste is shredded into pieces to ensure the data is destroyed. Then, the small debris is shaken to evenly spread the waste on the conveyor belt to further break it down.
Metals are separated from the debris with the help of strong magnets. The metallic waste is resold as raw materials, while water is used to separate plastic from glass. The materials which can be reused are resold to different vendors while the waste which cannot be reused is disposed of in an environmental-friendly way. Types of e-waste are mentioned below:
- Computer monitors, laptops
- Wires, circuit boards
- Transistors, RAMs, resistors
Expert advice– You can reuse hard drives from laptops as external storage devices and old cell phones can be used by children for games and emergency purposes.
Most plastic waste is non-biodegradable, which makes recycling an essential concern. The first step with plastic is to sort it as per the resin type. Some plastic waste is separated as per the colour as well. The waste is then chipped and melted into pellets. The waste often undergoes different processes to remove impurities to ensure the recycled product is not of low quality. Many types of plastic waste are mentioned below:
- Plastic bottles
- Polythene bags
- Plastic cups, knives, forks and spoons
Expert advice- Plastic bottles can also be reused as plant holders and containers for different items. You can reduce your consumption by using reusable plastic bottles.