Plastics Recycling in Vancouver and Surrey
Pacific Mobile Depots accepts hard/rigid plastics and soft and foam plastics. Check them out at www.pacificmobiledepots.com for a list of fees and pick up and drop off locations in Victoria.
- Rigid plastic packaging from consumer goods (e.g. electronics, tools), food (e.g. salads, baked goods), empty CD/DVD/VHS protective cases
- Rigid plastic containers, including milk jugs, yogurt and margarine containers, shampoo/liquid soap bottles, cleaning product containers, pill/vitamin bottles, clean plant pots
- Other specialty plastics such as wire & cable insulation, panelling, large buckets, recycling bins, garden hoses (remove metal ends), clean compost bins, cleaning brushes, toothbrushes, plates, cutlery, utensils, desk trays & rulers, pipes & fittings, floor mats, ice scrapers, license plate frames, plastic window frames, traffic cones, garbage cans & lids, & light switch plates.
Plastic bags (remove handles, receipts)
- Shopping and grocery bags
- Clean food storage bags
- Dry cleaning and newspaper bags
- Cereal/chip/cracker bags (non foil-lined)
Plastic wrap (remove stickers, labels)
- Shrink and bubble wrap
- Over wrap (stretchable)
Electronics Recycling in Victoria
Two local services that accept electronics for recycling are Encorp Return-It Electronics (www.encorp.ca) and Pacific Mobile Depots (www.pacificmobiledepots.com). Check out their websites for info on pick ups, drop-offs, and fees.
Encorp Return-It Electronics Depots accepts the following at no charge:
- Computer towers (CPU, motherboard) and cables
- Laptops, thin-clients, tablet PCs
- Computers with built-in monitors
- Desktop servers
- Keyboards, mice
- Printers and fax machines (laser, inkjet, dot matrix, all-in-one)
- CRT, LCD and Plasma monitors and TVs
- Combination TV/VCRs, PC/TVs
Items not accepted, include:
- Computer monitors or TVs with broken screens
- Heavily damaged electronics
- Cash registers, medical equipment
- Video game systems, speakers and stereos
- External routers, modems
- Rack-mounted servers
- Cameras, projectors
- Commercial printers and photocopiers
- BlackBerrys, Gameboys, PDAs
- VCRs and DVD players, cable boxes, satellite receivers
- Disks, tapes, CDs, manuals, loose printer cartridges and batteries
Pacific Mobile Depots (www.pacificmobiledepots.com) sets up at various locations in the Greater Victoria area and accepts the following for a fee:
- Computers, laptops, keyboards, mice
- Stereos, walkmen, cellphones, DVD and VCR players
- Microwaves, coffee makers, TVs, Monitors
- Cordless phones, amplifiers
What is Gypsum?
Gypsum is a naturally occurring ore that is commonly used in manufacturing drywall and wallboard often called calcium sulphate dihydroxide. Since the calcium and sulphur molecules in gypsum are chemically bound to water, gypsum is routinely heated in order to remove 50%-75% of its original moisture. Gypsum is naturally resistant to fire and heat. Having these unique characteristics, gypsum is commonly used in the formation of drywall panels. Many houses have walls that are made of drywall panels. After building a frame for the drywall boards, screwing them in place and some finishing touches including mud and paper, drywall can make very effective walls.
Several processing methods have been utilized for preparing gypsum drywall for recycling. The two major objectives of processing are separation of gypsum from the paper and the size reduction of the gypsum itself. A big issue associated with drywall processing is dust, and this is addressed by containing as much of the processing system as possible (placing indoors) or by providing water in the form of a mist to minimize emissions.
Drywall processing systems will in many cases require an air permit (appropriate regulatory authorities should be contacted – see state contacts list).
Standard waste processing equipment (such as this tub grinder) may be used, but a screen will typically be required depending on the end-market. The control of dust is major concern.
A common practice is to integrate the grinding operation and the screening operation.
In some cases, a trommel screen can be used for both size reduction and separation of gypsum from paper.
Several vendors market self-contained drywall processing equipment. Many of these operate using some type of grinder followed by a screening system; a dust collection system is typically included. Standard size reduction devices found (e.g. tub grinders, horizontal mills) at many waste processing sites can be used to process drywall. Dust issues may need to be addressed and screening will normally be necessary. Trommel screens are frequently used screening devices, and in fact, trommel screens have been used as stand-alone operations where drywall is both separated from the paper and size reduced. The recovery efficiency is not as high as obtained in the shredding systems, but a preliminary size reduction step such as using a loader or compactor to provide rough size reduction is useful for increasing efficiency.
A recent development is the use of small grinders directly at the construction site; the idea is to apply size-reduced gypsum directly at the site.
Several different uses have been proposed for recycled gypsum drywall. The most common ones are use in the manufacture on new drywall, an ingredient in Portland cement manufacture, a soil amendment, and in compost. See the links below for more detailed descriptions.
New Drywall – Many drywall manufacturing facilities use post-manufacturer and/or post-consumer scrap drywall to produce new drywall.
Portland Cement – Gypsum is an ingredient in portland cement manufacture. It is added to the cement clinker before the ball mill.
Land Application – Gypsum provides a source of sulfur and calcium to crops. Gypsum can also improve the drainage and texture of clayey soils.
Compost – Scrap gypsum drywall, or the paper separated from drywall, is often added as an amendment to composting systems.
Other uses that have been proposed include animal bedding, flea powder and for construction products.
Many tons of paper is discarded everyday especially newsprint. Recycling newsprint plays a major role in saving the environment. After the collection, the newspaper is mixed in water which becomes pulp. Through various cleaning stages, ink and other contaminants are removed and then it is whitened by hydrogen peroxide. The pulp is then compressed into thin sheets to increase density and squeeze out the water. The sheets are then cut and shipped to mills which reproduce paper or other paper products again such as newspaper, telephone books, shoe boxes, egg cartons, etc. Paper is banned from landfills as it can easily be recycled.
The recycling process of aluminum is quite simple. After the collection of discarded aluminum, they are shredded, delaguered, and melted. The melted aluminum is formed into sheets so manufacturers can use them as a raw material in manufacturing new cans, building materials, foil wraps, machine parts, etc.
To classify plastics for recycling purposes, the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) devised 7 general codes in 1988 commonly known as the SPI code. (PED, HDPE, Vinyl, LDPE, PP, PS, Other) The code is usually found on the bottom of the plastic products. Once the plastic has finished the filtering and cleaning stages, the plastic is melted and forced through an extruder which forms the plastic into long strands. These strands are then cut to form plastic pellets. Plastic manufacturers will melt these pellets to form various shapes which will become new plastic products.
From 1988 to 1995, 5.6 billion glass containers were recycled by Consumers Glass, which is equivalent to 26 glass containers each year for every Canadian. Recycling one glass bottle in the making of a new glass container saves enough energy to keep a 100 watt light bulb illuminated for 4 hours. (www.glassworks.org) Due to the spectacular increase in Canadian population, the number of glass containers used is also on the raise. By simply recycling glass containers, the country will save a lot of resources.
The recycling process of glass begins by sorting the color and type, and then crushed into small pieces called cullet. Sand, limestone and soda ash are then added to the cullet which is heated at a high temperature until it reaches a molten state. The molten glass is then poured into molds to form new glass containers.
Products (aside from base course) are high quality aggregate, processed in steps with time and effort involved in crushing, pre-sizing, sorting, screening and contaminant elimination. The denominator is to start with clean, quality rubble in order to meet design criteria easily and ultimately yield a quality product that will go into end use.
Crushing and screening systems start with primary jaws, cones and/or large impactors taking rubble from 30 inches to 4 feet. A secondary cone or impactor may or may not need to be run, and then primary and secondary screens may or may not be used, depending upon the project, the equipment used and the final product desired. A scalping screen will remove dirt and foreign particles. A fine harp deck screen will remove fine material from coarse aggregate.
Further cleaning is necessary to ensure the recycled concrete product is free of dirt, clay, wood, plastic and organic materials. This is done by water floatation, hand picking, air separators, and electromagnetic separators.
Occasionally asphalt overlay or patch is found. A mixture of asphalt and concrete is not recommended but small patches are not detrimental.
The more care that is put into the quality, the better product you will receive. With sound quality control and screening you can produce material without having to wash it as with virgin aggregate which may be ladened with clay and silt.
Concrete, blacktop, bricks and other masonry products can be chipped up and made into new blacktop products. Markets for Recycled Concrete Aggregate:
Aggregate base course (road base), or the untreated aggregates used as foundation for roadway pavement, is the underlying layer (under pavement surfacing) which forms a structural foundation for paving.
A cross-section of pavement would show dirt, or subgrade, as the lowest of three levels, with aggregate base course at the center and pavement (whether concrete or asphalt) at the surface.
This is the major market in the U.S. and can be mastered as the simplest and easiest use of recycled concrete. To date, it is also the most owner accepted use of recycled concrete by Departments of Transportation. It should also be mentioned that recycled asphalt is also accepted as a usable aggregate base course or road base.
Ready Mix concrete consists of a blend of cement, sand and water. This market is in its infancy stage with few recyclers attempting this re-use strategy although confidence is gaining through the Built Green program. Above all, the recycled concrete aggregate producer must make a quality product and have secured a willing and progressive ready mix producer who already has something that works. The ready mix producer must then, in turn, make a quality end product.
Similarly, recycled concrete can be used in new asphalt pavement as a substitute for virgin aggregate. The additional asphalt cement required must be offset by the cost savings of the virgin aggregate.
Uses to date are: residential slab and foundation; walk and curb; residential street and alley; commercial slab and foundation; and concrete paving per aggregate approval.
Soil Stabilization is the incorporation of recycled aggregate, lime, or fly ash into marginal quality subgrade material used to enhance the load bearing capacity of that subgrade. The process changes the water susceptibility of subgrade thereby stabilizing the soil/subgrade.
Many times concrete aggregate can be found and reused on the same project for this purpose.
Pipe bedding: Recycled concrete can serve as a stable bed or firm foundation in which to lay underground utilities. In this scenario, recycled concrete aggregate serves as a replacement of virgin aggregate. Originally, local municipalities developed specifications based on what’s readily available in the area. This use of recycled concrete aggregate is only economical if there is a savings in the yield and transportation costs.
Landscape Materials: Recycled concrete can be used in various landscape settings. Sized concrete rubble can serve as landscape feature; an attractive support that offers different architectural texture and color while contributing to Built Green architecture. To date, recycled concrete aggregate has been used as boulder/stacked rock walls, underpass abutment structures, erosion structures, water features, retaining walls, and more.