Too much scrap from salvaging! Recycling ideas needed

Hello fellow instructabilians, I love the site and the community here!

I have been salvaging and collecting a lot of items from dumpster diving, hard waste / rubbish collections etc that I have used to extract components like motors, electronics, glass etc. But as always, after extracting what I need, I end up with a mass of plastic, wood, metals, and some other random materials that have no use.

I would love to find a way to crush the bigger plastics, melt the metal ( if alloy ), shred the wood, and melt down the glass.

Of course, you are able to make some big crushing machine, but this is why it is under the green section. I am trying to find a sensible way to rid of all this excess junk, with a means of being able to teach others to do the same thing.

Our bins are very small, the tip is very costly now to even take junk, rates are going up, please, someone throw some ideas of any sort to help me find a system / make some green 'machines' etc. I hope you understand, and just a quick mention, I am dealing with at least 6m square of this useless junk that needs to, and can be sorted if there was a way.

I may even need to get my local community involved, like a pre-recycle event.. I dont know. Help. :( I guess a crusher, or something to deal with the largest of materials ( like CRT screen plastic outer shells ) would be a first step.

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Take the example of recycling acrylic here in Brazil.
I think attitudes like these help to keep our world cleaner.


Daniel Domingos
Toga_Dan5 years ago

Broken electronics is one of the things they pick up. It's probably healthier to recycle through a place like this rather than vaporize the stuff in your kitchen! ;)

If I forgot to mention it, CRTs can retain a high V charge. When I open up a TV or CRT computer monitor, I assume it is still charged unless it has been unplugged for a week.
AtomRat (author)  Toga_Dan5 years ago
( Thanks for another recycle option for others to use! Here's an update if your interested, and also maybe some better info as to what I am working at )

I've now managed to find some info on trash compactors that can be made at home, so I will attempt making one of these to squash my hard metals and plastics into smaller manageable sections.

Now I have a foundry for smelting and cleaning some glass, many metals and have done much research into sand casting and foam casting ( foam cutter was made, also solved my Styrofoam pile issue ) for making new parts. This got exciting as now I am attempting anodizing and coloring my alloy. ( failed first attempt, will do again soon )

Similar, I also have a temporary blacksmith forge now for attempting some tool creation.

Broken electronics I de-solder myself useful components, scrape green UV solder mask, remove gold ( chemical process ), and sometimes can re-use pcb board for perfboard and prototyping. The rest can be smashed to rubble and put into my bin for local trash. Alloy heat-sinks are smelted or re-used. Copper is extracted either for recycle, re-use or smelting out of many components. Basic wire stripper made from drills.

Fabrics have been considered as well. Cotton I would most likely use for paper, wick, rags and other general use. I don't want to re-use fabric for clothes.

Some of the plastics I can re-use for many things by using vacuum suction techniques. I have to read more on recyclable plastics, but I don't really want to melt this at home as of fumes. They can mostly be squashed and half melted ( heated ) into sizable cubes for the recycle bin or garbage bin by use of the compactor.

I now will be working on designs making these things a bit more 'homely' and user-friendly and attempt to find a way that will work as multi-functional recycling and waste compacting utilities and still attempting to keep them at some environmental standard. A large amount of physical labor may still be needed though, no matter what the instrument, but a means of power will sure help with those larger problem items and compacting.

I have also experimented a lot with chemical processes, but I do not feel that they are in any way useful to others as they are toxic, not environmentally friendly, no one would mess with the processes etc.. too much hassle. But I did come across some interesting things that I will do at home.

Sorry for the large post, I hope this gives a bit more of an understanding as to the direction that I wanted to head in, and how I want to manage my most common and large materials at home. Waste management really is a hidden issue that not many know of here. Even the 'hard-waste' day does not seem to do us any justice anymore as everyone else takes more recyclable's off the piles than the council get to, meaning our residential rates increase greatly.
I look forward to reading your -ibles on this stuff.
RavensCraft5 years ago
Most of the solutions for the type of recycling you are talking about require an "industrial strength " approach. Her are two links for you consideration:

As far as melting metal, do a search for "Babington Burner"
Lots of people are using babingtons for melting metal
using waste motor oil.

Only 1 of your videos worked, raven. Impressive machine. Doubt it costs less than $25k. One could request a quote from the mfg.

I'd also be curious how many amps it needs. I don't know that the avg house is wired for that much power. Might require 3 phase.

I suppose something smaller could be made, that could take 1 piece of lumber at a time, rather than an entire pallet.

As for melting metal goes, aluminum is easy. Brass is easy. Steel? Not so easy. It's fairly easy to heat to forging temps, required for blacksmithing, but not melting. Google "charcoal foundry" and "sand casting"

Some things, like TVs and other CRTs have hazards to take into consideration, like phosphorus and lead.
AtomRat (author)  Toga_Dan5 years ago
Phosphor dangers from the tube do you mean? I dont know my phosphor dangers list at all, but I do know that if it is a coating like in a fluro light, you can just add water to the phosphor and rinse it off its surface, evaporate, and you have your own phosphor for your own projects. Please add safety notes here if you can on this.

Im sure if I were to find an issue with a dust / gas, I would also need to incorporate a down or up draft ventilation system as well.
I don't know what specific phosphor compounds are used in CRTs.   There are 300 PAGES of listings for phosphor compounds on the Manufacturers Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) site.

I'll try to remember to ask a chem friend about specifics when I see em. 
"The cathode ray tubes (CRTs) in your discarded computer monitors and televisions contain lead, in addition to phosphorous, cadmium, and mercury. These hazardous materials are sealed away to protect users, but they will seep out in a ..."
AtomRat (author)  Toga_Dan5 years ago
Cheers for that. And for being so bold about it ;)
Very helpful and muchly appreciated
No prob. I have a tendency to collect too, and remember a time when ignorance was bliss...

by the way, from what I understand, flourescent lights have some of the same hazards as CRTs. As I understand, they contain mercury vapor.  I don't know what is required to be safe when opening em up, but I'd want to learn protocol first. 

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