Most residents will have exchanged smaller blue bins for larger, 240 litre bins to help them recycle as much as possible. But what happened to the old blue bins? We put this question to the Wastewatchers at the East Riding Council:
What are you going to do with the old blue bins?
They will be recycled into pellets and reused. Once the old smaller blue bins go through the process outlined below they will be made into new wheelie bins.
The recycling process for most plastics is a heat based process where the plastic recyclate is melted down and either reformed into new product or compounded with additives and colourants and pelletised into a high quality raw material that can then be used to manufacture new products. Before these heat processes can be used it is usual to have to reduce the plastic waste down in size. This is generally done by one of the following processes:-
Shredding - Shredding is a quick and efficient way of reducing large items of plastic into a manageable size. The process involves a spinning rotor which rips the plastic apart. The resulting output is an irregular shaped, roughly cut - approx. 60mm (can be smaller) - product that is generally still too large to use into a heat based compounding or thermoforming process.
Granulation – This process is similar to shredding, whereby spinning blades cut the plastic components into irregular shaped pieces usually 10-12mm in diameter. Unlike shredding however, the use of grids in the grinding process allow us the plastic recycler to control the resulting size of the reground, which can then be used as a raw material for subsequent heat based processes.
Blending – This allows the plastic recycler to create a formula for a required specification from a selection of plastics of the same type but possibly with different characteristics or from different sources. The purpose of blending is to create a homogenous batch of plastic which will produce a consistent quality recycled plastic compound.
For more information on Council recycling - visit the Target 45+ website.