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The following materials are examples of those that can be and are recycled:

  1. Steel (alloy of iron).

  2. Aluminium

  3. Some plastics.

  4. Glass.

  5. Paper

 

 

How do we recycle materials?

One of the big problems with recycling is separating the materials that can be recycled from those that can't. In many countries there are special bins, containers and recycle centres for people to place the different materials.

The images shown on this page were sent to the residents of Bristol, UK from the Council to explain how to separate materials for recycling. Each Bristol resident is provided with a "black box", a "green box" and a food waste bin in which to place materials that can be recycled.

 

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Everyday Materials

Recycling

 

Recycling01

 

Why do we recycle certain materials?

We can make a good new use of materials at the end of their natural life by recycling them. The material from the old object is reprocessed to make new things. The main reason for recycling is to save on valuable resources such as raw materials and the energy needed which also comes from raw materials such as oil, coal and gas. It needs to be decided if it is viable to recycle a material in the first place. For example taking a few bottles to the bottle bank may use more raw materials such as oil than you would save in the glass.

 

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To make 10 cans to hold fizzy drink, 300g of Aluminium and 70 million Joules of energy are used. To make 10 new cans it needs the same amount of aluminium, but only about 5 million Joules of energy so quite a big saving.

 

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Other reasons for recycling are environmental reasons such as saving trees and preventing the build up of waste particularly those that are non biodegradable, that is a material that is not broken down naturally by microbes. If it is not biodegradable the only way to get rid of it is using landfill sites or burning, neither of which are environmentally friendly

 

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