Waste recycling process - what is it and what are its types?


There are many ways to take care of the world around us, depending on our capabilities. Large production plants are trying to reduce exhaust emissions and the use of deposits. Among private individuals, the most common way to protect the environment is waste segregation. Selected waste is recycled in this way, but what exactly is the recycling process?

Recycling process

Recycling is the re-use of the obtained waste, which is processed, and a new product is created from the material obtained in this way. The recycling process reduces the use of natural resources and reduces the amount of waste.

The basic principle of recycling is the maximum use of available waste with the least energy and raw material expenditure. The recycling logo is three arrows showing the flow of processed waste.

What can be recycled?

Household garbage accounts for the largest proportion of recycle waste. In order to obtain a lower price for waste disposal, residents may undertake to segregate them. On housing estates, containers are marked with appropriate colors, and in the case of single-family houses, there are often marked bags that are displayed in front of the property in a timely manner. Waste is divided into 4 basic groups:

  • paper - container or bags in blue,

  • plastic - container or bags in yellow,

  • glass - container or bags in green (colored glass) or white (white glass),

  • metals - container or bags in red or orange.

In addition, in the estates of single-family houses, small brown containers or bags are delivered to each property, which are intended for biodegradable waste, i.e. food scraps, grass, weeds and other garden waste.

It also often happens that there are no separate containers for metals, which in this case should be disposed of together with plastics. Additionally, as a rule, there is one glass container.

A detailed list of items that can be recycled and thrown into the appropriate container can be found on the posters that can be downloaded from the Internet or obtained at the city cleaning plant.


Recycling process - what types are there?

Depending on the selected criterion, it is possible to distinguish different types of recycling.

If we take into account the specifics of processing, we can distinguish a number of recycling processes:

  • thermal - it consists in obtaining energy in the waste incineration process,

  • material - recovery of plastics from waste and their recycling,

  • organic - waste undergoes aerobic or anaerobic treatment under controlled conditions with the use of microorganisms. The end product of these activities may be organic matter or methane,

  • chemical - the obtained waste is processed into products with different physical and chemical properties,

  • raw material - consists in processing waste to its original form - the one from which it was produced.

Recycling can also be classified according to its use. In this case, we distinguish:

  • reuse - waste is collected in order to reintroduce it into production - an example can be wrecked cars,

  • further use - after various types of treatment, processed waste finds a new use,

  • re-use - after minor treatment, the waste will be used for the same purpose.

The stages of the recycling process

  • Stage 1: segregation - at this stage, the waste should be grouped according to its type. The best and cheapest way is to segregate closest to the place of production, i.e. in households or companies. Thanks to early segregation, the garbage is less polluted than if it was segregated at a later stage.

  • Stage 2: shredding - segregated waste cannot be processed as it is, as its size and form are diverse, so it is necessary to shred it, which takes place in special mills. In addition, the fragmentation of the material facilitates its transport.

  • Stage 3: washing. Plastic and glass waste, as a rule, is contaminated, therefore it is necessary to wash them. Washing takes place in special tubs with cleaning agents. After washing, the waste is dried.

  • Stage 4: boring. At this stage, the end product is produced. It is given the appropriate shape or color.

  • Stage 5: other - the recycling process should also fulfill a storage or security function. The presence of auxiliary devices is possible and even desirable.