Recycling PET Bottles and Aluminum Cans


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The actual title was Solid Waste Management in the 21st Century. The Power Point is available for viewing in my profile as well. The paper details the problems with public recyclable waste, particularly plastic bottles. The full paper will be published in the future in a business or scientific journal.

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  • Scott great S/S and it bring up an issue that I've been trying to solve. through my Cans4Houses project I get a lot of plastic bottles of varying types of plastic. It currently goes out with the weekly curbside pickup. I get a large industrial bag every two weeks and sometimes faster. I'd like to change it to a profit center vise overhead. I did talk to one local coy. but due to labels etc and the small volume he wasn't interested. What is a pound of plastic worth and how many 500 ml water bottles are needed? I'm thinking several hundred!
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  • This graph clearly shows how PET bottle production had risen from 2000 to 2006, while glass bottle production, steel can production, and aluminum can production remained nearly constant.
  • PET Bottle waste in the United States rose 728% from 1986 to 2006.By Contrast, aluminum can waste rose 79.5%, and steel can waste actually decreased over 16,000%.
  • Though aluminum is one of the better recycling success stories, more needs to be done.Each aluminum can is worth money, about one cent in USD. In addition, sending aluminum cans to the landfill wastes energy; it takes about 95% more energy to make a new aluminum can rather than recycling a used one.Recycling just one aluminum can will save enough energy to light a 100 watt light bulb for 4 hours, or run a television for up to 3 hours.In another alarming trend, landfills, worried about capacity, have started incinerating aluminum cans. This not only wastes a valuable natural resource, but also releases dangerous toxins into the atmosphere.
  • Recycling PET Bottles and Aluminum Cans

    1. 1. Scott A. EkleberryTiffin UniversityTiffin, Ohio USA
    2. 2.  Commonly used for water and food packaging. Take at least 500 years to biodegrade in a landfill (Benefits-Of-Recycling, 2010). Plastic bottles take up millions of cubic yards of landfill space each year (Benefits-Of-Recycling, 2010). Just in the US, PET plastic bottle sales increased from around 32 billion in 2000, to around 72 billion in 2006; growth of 225% in just six years (Hoy, 2009). 28.8 billion PET bottles ended up in US landfills in 2006 alone (Hoy, 2009).
    3. 3. (Hoy 2009)
    4. 4. (Hoy 2009)
    5. 5.  Aluminum is one of the most sustainable metals we use; a recycled aluminum can may be back on a grocery shelf, in one form or another, in as few as sixty days (Cummings, 2007). By 2006, the US alone had discarded more than one trillion aluminum beverage cans worth about $15 billion US (Spillman 11-12). It takes about four hundred years for an aluminum can to break down naturally (Cummings, 2007).
    6. 6.  The US airline industry is one of the worst offenders; every year the US airlines throw, away enough aluminum cans to build fifty-eight Boeing 747 aircraft. One cited reason for the airlines not recycling is that little if any recycling infrastructure exists at most airports (Farley 21- 22). Since aluminum is renewable, recycling 100% of what we have right now would mean we would never have to make any more; that means no more destructive mining and purification (
    7. 7.  Aluminum is worth money; each can is worth about one cent in United States Dollars; throwing aluminum cans away is like throwing money in the trash (Cummings, 2007). The other cost of sending aluminum cans to the landfill are in energy; making aluminum cans from raw ore takes about ninety-five percent more energy than recycling used aluminum cans (Cummings, 2007). The recycling of just one aluminum can will save enough energy to light a one hundred watt light bulb for four hours, or run a television for up to three hours (Cummings, 2007).
    8. 8. (Hoy 2009)
    9. 9.  Start with children in school so they become good ecological stewards their entire lives. Government sponsored community education outlining the environmental impact of failure to recycle.
    10. 10.  Using “central container” methods of recycling (Guang-Hua Zhang, 2007). China is using Pyrolysis-catalytic upgrade methods to extract fuel oil from mixed plastic waste (Guang-Hua Zhang, 2007). “According to the yield of converting waste plastics to oil in China, plastic wastes weighing 1.92 ton can produce 1 ton of fuel oil” (Guang-Hua Zhang, 2007).
    11. 11.  One pitcher filter can effectively replace as much as 300 standard 16.9-ounce bottles (Dorfman). “The average pitcher filters 240 gallons of water a year for about 19 cents a day. Put in perspective, to get the same amount of water from bottled water would require 1,818 16.9-ounce water bottles a year” (Dorfman).
    12. 12.  In 1997, the Packaging Waste Recycling Law was put into operation (Tokai & Furuichi, 1999). Since the law’s inception, the quantity of recovered plastic wastes has been increasing in Japan. PET bottles are particularly targeted (Tokai & Furuichi, 1999). One policy uses waste plastic as a fuel source; thermal recycling (Tokai & Furuichi, 1999). Another policy uses waste plastics as raw material for more plastic manufactured goods (Tokai & Furuichi, 1999).
    13. 13.  The Environment Act imposed a legal requirement for plastic packaging to be recycled (D.N. Smith, 1999). Throughout the UK there are 3024 plastic bottle banks located on 2164 sites for post- consumer drop-off (D.N. Smith, 1999). “There are 255 curbside collection schemes in the UK covering 8163146 households, of these, 80 schemes collect plastic bottles and these covered 1926925 households at the end of 1997” (D.N. Smith, 1999).
    14. 14. Bottle recycling in the UK Tons of plastic bottles recycled 1990- 1997 by year8000 199770006000 19965000 19954000 19943000 1993 19922000 19911000 1990 0 (D.N. Smith, 1999)
    15. 15. (Hoy, 2009). 85% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% PET Bottles Recycled PET Bottles Recycled Without Deposit With Deposit (Hoy 2009)
    16. 16. Plastic and aluminum containers posevery serious environmental problems for future generations. With properly administered environmental education and recycling programs the amount of plastic and aluminum containers entering our planets landfills can be cut by 50% or more.
    17. 17.  Benefits-Of-Recycling. Recycling Plastic Bottles. 2010, 16 April 2010 http://www.benefits-of- Bhat, Vasanthakumar N. The green corporation : the next competitive advantage. First. Westport: Quorum Books, 1996. Cummings, Larry. Facts about Aluminum Recycling. 2 April 2007. 16 April 2009 aluminum-recycling/. D.N. Smith, L. H. (1999). A survey of schemes in the United Kingdom collecting plastic bottles for recycling. Resources, Conservation and Recycling (50), 17–34.
    18. 18.  Dorfman., J. (n.d.). Learn the Facts. Retrieved May 7, 2010, from FILTERFORGOOD.COM: Facts About Plastic Bottles. 2007. 16 April 2010 bottles/facts-about-plastic-bottles/. Facts About Plastic Bottles. 16 April 2010 bottles/facts-about-plastic-bottles/. Farley, David. "The Not So Green Skies." Scientific American September 2009, 3 ed.: 21-22 .
    19. 19.  Guang-Hua Zhang, J.-F. Z. (2007). Prospect and current status of recycling waste plastics and technology for converting them into oil in China. Resources, Conservation and Recycling (50), 231–239. Hoy, Valerie. Graphs & Data for Plastic. 2009. 16 April 2010 http://www.container- Recycling Aluminum Cans - Fun Facts. 2007. 16 April 2010 home/environmentally-friendly/recycling-aluminum- cans.aspx. A Recycling Revolution. 2010. 16 April 2010 http://www.recycling-
    20. 20.  Shaw, Peter J., Joanne K. Lyas and Malcolm D. Hudson. "Quantitative analysis of recyclable materials composition: Tools to support decision making in kerbside recycling." Resources, Conservation and Recycling 29 December 2005: 263-269. Spillman, Pat. "The ABCS of Unrelenting Waste." The Environmental Magazine March/April 2008: 11- 12. Strong, Debra L. Recycling in America. Second. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 1997. Tokai, Akihiro and Tohru Furuichi. "Evaluation of recycling policies for PET bottles based on multiattribute utility indices." J Mater Cycles Waste Management (1999): 70–79.
    21. 21. Scott A.