Category Recycling

Whole world call for Reduce – Reuse – Recycle, what is that?

You can help to make the world a safer, cleaner place. Just remember to: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Reduce waste by only buying the things you need. Try to reuse items or find new uses for them.

Recycle anything you cannot reuse.


Buy local foods and reduce packaging.

Reduce rubbish by encouraging your family to buy goods in local markets. Supermarkets often buy their foods from far-away countries. Lots of packaging is needed to protect the goods on the long journey. Foods grown locally often have less packaging, so why not buy them instead.



Reuse pots and containers.

All kinds of boxes, pots and bottles can find new uses at home. Cardboard boxes can be used to store books, toys or CDs. Plastic ice cream tubs can become lunch boxes. Glass bottles and jars can be used to hold pencils or flowers, or you can use them to grow plants. Decorate them with bright paints or stick on pictures from magazines.


Recycle old clothes.

Clothes you have grown out of can be taken to a local charity shop. They may be sold to raise money for the charity, or sent to a developing country.

Unwanted books, toys and household items can also be recycled at charity shops. Even old vinyl records can be recycled —they can be melted down and turned into bank cards.


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How do they recycle Plastics material and cloths?

Plastic is cheap, tough and hard-wearing. No wonder so many things are made of plastic these days!

Plastic does not rot, however. So it often ends up in landfills. There are many different kinds of plastic. Some are hard to recycle.

Cloth is easier to recycle. It can be cut up and put into mattresses.

These sheets are made from recycled plastic.

A single bottle may contain several different types of plastic. So, at the recycling plant, plastics are sorted by hand or machine. The plastic is shredded into tiny flakes, which are melted and made into new things.



Your boots may contain recycled plastic.

Recycled plastic has many uses. Some is used to make garden chairs, fence posts, waterproof boots or new bottles. Other plastics provide stuffing for pillows and duvets or are made into fleecy coats.


Old clothes are cut into rags. They can be used for cleaning.

Worn-out clothes and other textiles can also be recycled. You can reuse them as cleaning cloths at home or send them for recycling.

Some old clothes are cut into rags and used to wipe machinery. Other clothes are ripped up and the threads woven to make new clothes or used to stuff seats and mattresses.


If you use cloth bags it cuts down on litter.

Most supermarkets hand out plastic bags to their customers to carry home their shopping. Because the bags are free, we often just throw them away at home.

Some supermarkets have started charging for the bags. This encourages people to reuse them or to use strong cloth or canvas bags instead. This cuts down on the litter and waste caused by old plastic bags.

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Do you know something about recycling of metal?

We make metals by digging up minerals and then heating them in a hot fire or furnace.

Minerals like silver, copper and lead are hard to find. So, people do not usually throw them away. But we do throw away lots and lots of steel and aluminium cans.

Luckily, it is easy to recycle metals, which saves minerals and energy.

This hot furnace is making iron.

Iron is a tough metal made by melting iron ore, limestone and coke from coal in a furnace. By adding carbon and other minerals, iron can be made into even tougher steel. Steel is used to build ships, trains, bridges and buildings.

Valuable metals like iron and steel are often recycled. Most steel objects now contain some recycled metal.


This giant magnet picks up steel cans.

Cans to store food and drink are mostly made from steel or aluminium. At the recycling plant, a large magnet is often used to pick out the steel cans. These are reheated in a furnace to make new products. The steel in your empty drink can could end up in a steel support high on a skyscraper, or as a paper clip!




Mines spoil wild places.

Metals are found underground as ores. When ores are mined, wild places are destroyed and huge piles of waste rock are left behind. By recycling metals we can avoid new mines and reduce waste and pollution.




You can use a magnet to test metals.

A magnet can separate different metals because iron and steel are magnetic, so they stick to the magnet. Aluminium is not magnetic, so it does not stick.


At home, use a magnet to test cans, bottle tops, foil trays and tin foil to find out if they are magnetic. All of these metal items can be recycled.

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How do we recycle paper?

We throw away lots of paper and card each day. But we can recycle this waste to make new books, comics and even banknotes.

When we recycle paper and card, it saves materials and energy. We also help to protect wild forests where animals live.

These trees will be cut down to make paper.

Wood is the main raw material used to make card and paper. Most timber used to make paper comes from conifer trees grown on special plantations.

Wild habitats, such as bogs and heaths, are sometimes cleared to plant these forests. Recycling paper means that fewer timber forests are needed. So, recycling can help to save wild places and the animals that live in them.



The grey cardboard inside a cereal packet is recycled.

Newspapers and magazines have lots of ink on them. When they are recycled, it is cheaper not to remove all the inks. That is why recycled cardboard is grey! Clean, white paper is the best paper for recycling. It can be made into writing paper.





Old newspapers can be made into toilet paper.

All sorts of products, including toilet paper and toilet rolls, are now made from recycled paper.

Look out for recycling symbols that show materials have been recycled. We can also avoid wasting paper by reusing envelopes and writing on both sides of paper. Ask your teacher if paper is recycled at your school.



You can also recycle your Christmas tree.

Christmas trees are also grown on conifer plantations. Many councils now provide special recycling points where trees can be left after Christmas.

So, instead of dumping your tree, recycle it! The trees are cut into chips to make rich compost which can be put on the garden to fertilise the soil.

Picture Credit : Google



How can we recycle glass?

Glass is one material that is easy to recycle. Like metal and paper, it is made with raw materials from the natural world.

The more we recycle the fewer raw materials we need. Recycling materials like glass also saves energy.

Glass is made in a furnace.

Glass is made from sand and limestone. These raw materials are mined from the ground and heated in a furnace. They melt to make a hot, runny mixture. This is shaped by being blown or poured into moulds. The red-hot mixture cools to form glass.



This broken glass is ready to recycle.

Glass can be made from recycled bottles and jars instead of fresh sand and limestone. The used glass is smashed up to form a substance called cullet. The cullet is then reheated. The furnace does not need to be so hot to melt cullet, so recycling glass saves energy as well as raw materials.



At a bottle bank we sort glass into different colours.

First, wash your used bottles and remove the lids before you take them to the bottle bank. Most bottle banks have separate holes for brown, clear and green glass, so the glass is sorted before it goes to the recycling plant. As well as bottles, recycled glass can be used to make glass bricks, tiles and fibreglass boats or canoes.




Glass can be reused, so avoid plastic bottles.

Reduce waste by asking your family to buy milk and juice in glass bottles instead of plastic bottles or paper cartons.

Glass milk bottles are returned and refilled up to a dozen times. But plastic and paper cartons are used just once before being thrown away, and plastic bottles do not rot.


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Can we recycle water and how?



Homes, schools and offices produce dirty water as well as rubbish. Factories and farms also empty waste into rivers. This waste can pollute (dirty) the water.

Waste water from your home goes to a sewage plant. Here, the water is cleaned before it flows back into rivers or the sea. Water treatment works clean the water again before it reaches your home.

A sewage plant cleans our waste water.

  1. Waste water from our homes empties into drains. They carry the water to the sewage treatment plant.
  2. At the plant the dirty water passes through a grid that removes solid wastes.
  3. The water then trickles through filter beds lined with sand and gravel. Tiny living things that feed on harmful bacteria are used to clean the water.
  4. Scientists test the water to make sure there are no germs left. Then the water flows back into rivers or the sea.





These children get water from a well. They won’t waste it!

You probably turn on a tap to get fresh water. But in dry, desert areas people may walk a long way to get water from the nearest well. They use their water very carefully. The water they wash with is then used to water plants.




Crop sprays can pollute ponds and rivers.

Farmers use water to wet thirsty crops. The left-over water runs back into ponds and streams. Many farmers spray poisons on their crops to kill weeds and insects. When these chemicals drain back into rivers, they can poison wildlife, and people, too.




Save water. Have a shower, not a bath.

Every day, we all use a lot of water for drinking, washing and cooking. All this water has be to cleaned and pumped to our house, which is expensive and uses lots of energy.

Save precious water by taking a shower instead of a bath. Turn the tap off while you brush your teeth or wash the dishes. You can also use rainwater rather than tap water to water the plants.

Picture Credit : Google

What do we understand by the term – Throw-away world?

Many people are quick to throw things away. They do not reuse things. Reusing means using old things in new ways.

In developing countries, people waste less. They are better at recycling materials. They often repair and reuse old equipment.

When people reuse or recycle, there is less waste. Less waste means less harm to nature.

This old freezer creates waste and can poison the air.

People in developed countries have money to spend on expensive goods such as cars or computers. We like to bud new things when the old ones break or go out of fashion. All this causes waste and pollution. Scrapped TVs, cookers, fridges and cars may give off chemicals which pollute the natural world.




People reuse the cardboard boxes that this man sells.

In poor communities, people often repair or reuse broken equipment, so less is wasted. Some people sort through rubbish heaps for bottles, tins, plastic, bricks and cardboard that can be sold for recycling. Wood and metal sheets are reused to build shacks.





Packaging can make products look nice but it causes waste.

In the United Kingdom, a lot of our rubbish is packaging. This is the paper, card and cellophane used to wrap products or to keep foods fresh. Colourful packaging also helps to sell products. But when we get home, most of this packaging is just thrown away, which is a waste.





Some packets have lots of layers!

Next time you visit a supermarket, examine the layers of packaging used on different foods.

Are all the lagers really necessary? Individually wrapped foods are fun, but use a lot of extra packaging. They use up valuable materials, such as paper and plastic, which cost money.

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What kind of waste is considered as dangerous waste?

Rubbish is often solid, like an old can or box. But waste from a power station or factory can also be a liquid or a gas.

Some of this waste is dangerous. It harms nature if people do not clear it up properly.

Cars and homes also produce harmful gases by burning fuel.

Power stations produce waste gases.

Power stations release waste gases as they burn fuels, such as coal, oil and gas, to provide us with electricity. This energy is supplied to our homes, schools and factories to run machines. So, every time we switch on the computer or TV, we are helping to create waste.



Some factories empty liquid waste into rivers.

When factories make goods such as soap, medicine or paint, they may also produce poisonous chemicals as a waste product. Waste liquids sometimes leak into lakes and rivers, where they harm plants and wildlife such as fish and birds.




These workers’ clothes protect them from toxic (poison) waste.

Some factories produce toxic waste. This is very dangerous and contains chemicals that are harmful to all living things, including people. Toxic waste cannot be released into the air, soil or water.

Toxic waste and nuclear waste from power stations must be stored in sealed containers. This waste is buried under the ground, but it can still cause problems if it leaks out. It can be harmful for hundreds of years.



Batteries contain poisonous metals or acid.

Batteries contain metals and acids that can poison the environment. Most batteries usually end up in a hazardous waste landfill.

However, they can be recycled. Some towns collect batteries as part of a recycling programme.

One alternative is rechargeable batteries. They can be used many times and can also be recycled when they no longer work.

Picture Credit : Google


Does the waste rot, if kept for long time?

Some types of rubbish, such as fruit and vegetable peel, rot away quickly. We say they are biodegradable.

Metals like iron and steel rust. They break into smaller pieces over a long time.

Glass and plastic do not rot. In a landfill, they can stay under the ground for hundreds of years.

Dead animals and plants are food for other living things.

In nature, everything is recycled. Nothing is wasted. Dead plants and animals provide food for living things such as worms, fungi and ting bacteria.

The nutrients (minerals) in rotting plants and animals return to the soil. Here, they help other plants to grow. We sag they fertilise the soil.



Manure helps crops to grow but it can pollute (dirty) rivers.

Many farmers spread animal manure (dung) and plant waste on their fields to fertilise the soil, so their crops grow well. But too much natural waste can cause pollution. If thick, liquid manure, called slurry, gets into ponds and rivers, it can harm water life.





Metal wires and plastics do not rot. They can poison the soil.

Paper, card, cotton, leather and wool are all made from plants or animals. These natural materials rot away. Materials such as metal and plastic do not rot. They remain in a landfill for years and may cause pollution.






Look for minibeasts that feed on waste.

Lift logs and fallen leaves to find the minibeasts that lurk there. Worms, slugs, insects, woodlice and millipedes all feed on plant or animal remains.

These minibeasts help natural waste to decompose (rot). Other minibeasts, such as spiders and centipedes, feed on the decomposers. Always put the log or leaves back gently when you have finished looking at the minibeasts.

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Where does our domestic waste go?

Each week, refuse trucks pick up rubbish from our homes and take it to landfills. Landfills are huge holes in the ground. Refuse trucks tip the rubbish into the hole. Then bulldozers bury the rubbish.

People do not like living near landfills. So some towns burn their waste. They use giant ovens called incinerators.

Refuse trucks collect your rubbish.

In many countries, a refuse truck visits once a week to collect waste. The collectors empty dustbins onto the truck, where the rubbish is squashed so more fits in. The full truck then drives to the landfill site.




The trucks tip the waste into landfills.

Many landfill sites are old quarries. The trucks dump their load, and then bulldozers pack the rubbish down and cover it with soil to prevent it blowing away. Modern landfills have a plastic liner to stop poisonous chemicals from leaking into the soil.





This golf course was a landfill. A layer of soil covers the rubbish.

Landfill sites are an easy way to get rid of lots of rubbish, though they are often smell and look ugly. Once a landfill is full, a thick layer of soil is added. The landfill may then become a park or golf course. It may be hard to see that a landfill was ever there!



An incinerator burns rubbish to make energy.

Paper, plastic and other rubbish give off heat energy when burned. The heat is used to boil water to produce steam. This steam is used to generate electricity. However, incinerators can create poisonous gases that pollute the air.

Rubbish rotting in landfills gives off a gas called methane. This can be burned as fuel. Pipes set into the landfill draw off the methane gas, which flows along a pipe to a power station.

Picture Credit : Google