Recycling and waste disposal
Recycling is not the ideal way to reduce waste. Reuse (see modular hardware in particular) is better and more nature friendly. And material conservation, which includes designing things to go more slowly obsolete, is better yet. And requiring product take-back by the manufacturer puts the responsibility for this exactly where it belongs, where the design and modularity can really be dealt with, and, where an industrial ecology can evolve to do it better and use waste as a resource.
However, recycling is a very good starting point for gathering and dispensing important information since the better knowledge people have on how recycling works the more likely is that they will do it and the better they can help the people working for the recycling industry such as collectors and processors. Working together we can make recycling more pleasant and efficient. And, we can exploit the opportunities that manufacturers fail to take for themselves.
In theory, recycling would be a continuing reuse of materials for the same purpose, but in practice much recycling extends the useful life of a material, but in a less versatile form. For example, as paper is recycled, the fibers shorten, making it less useful for higher grade papers. Other materials can suffer from contamination, making them unsuitable for food packaging.
Recycling information is very location sensitive since the state of recycling systems vary highly from place to place, but it's a good starting place. We can work from recycling and correct waste disposal bacwards up the consumption chain without getting engulfed in a swamp of lies right in the begining.
w:Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects.
Well organized recycling
Well organized recycling takes care of the separation and correct routing of the following packaging materials and informs the public about the recycling process e.g. If some beverage cartons are recycled the consumers preparations for the process may vary on the process they are instigating. If the cartons get burned then cleanliness of the is mostly a question of the working place comfort of the people working for the process ie. well washed cartons don't smell so rotten.
Advanced countries have w:container-deposit legislation i.e. a deposit-return system.
See materials for info on what and how to recycle different materials and composite materials.
- w:Kerbside collection, or curbside collection, is a service provided to households, typically in urban and suburban areas of removing household waste.
- w:List of solid waste treatment technologies
- w:Category:Waste organizations
Proper dealing with hazardous waste is a very location specific issue. In developed countries there are often arrangements that the companies that sell products containing hazardous waste are also responsible for accepting and managing the handling of hazardous waste, such as batteries, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, freons and machinery oils
Accounting standards that deal properly with waste are based on ISO 14000. ISO 19011 is the first real standard here. But it doesn't deal with natural capital as well as it could, nor all the styles of capital.