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Too much scrap from salvaging! Recycling ideas needed Answered

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.


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



Daniel Domingos


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.

( 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.

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.

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 ..."

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. 

Vortex power looks pretty damn interesting and definitely eliminates the 'size' or bulk issues of scrap rubbish. Ill take a peek into this too and see if a downsized scale can be used. It seems like a simple turbine but with teeth at the end rather than an after burner.sweet

A simple turbine with enough power to make 85% mach as I recall. Holy crackerel !

Be careful about breathing that dust, especially if you are pulverizing toxc materials.

Some of the other shredders on youtube automatically reverse direction to clear jams. I suppose that if one wanted somethin shredded up to smaller bits, then a second, smaller shredder might be in order.

Thank you for the replies, and sorry for my delay. I ended up in hospital with some carbon-monoxide poisoning..

Yes, this is definitely more what I am thinking and thank you for the links / vids. These have helped me a considerable amount. I am sure I can base my machine around this, I will update later on when I get some progress happening.

Thanks heaps Toga_Dan + RavensCraft.

What about contacting a school or church in your area to let them know about the supplies you have that could be used to build a play house for a family in need? Or perhaps see if a school was interested in hosting a "Craft War' type fundraising event... Or maybe, even though summer is over, you could search around the internet to see if there are any camps that have building activities that could use some of your stuff? OR... what about have a garage sale type of event where people could come and pick through your stuff and take what they want and instead of getting it for free or paying you for it, they could take what they wanted in exchange for a canned food donation that will go to your local food bank... That's all I got, lol. I wish I was in your area though to have a look at all the upcycling possibilities!

Sorry for the late reply, all these ideas involve needing the use of someone else. My thoughts are for a system that can be used by anyone at home, just like how a compost bin recycles bio waste, and anyone can make and use one of them. Im more thinking of crushing everything down to rock / pebble scale if its plastic and use it for insulation or similar.

As for a garage sale / market stall, id rather make things from my scrap and sell it that way, but all the materials still need to be downsized as I am talking some things to be as large as 1m x 1m x 1m
Thanks for the comment.

I don't know if it's required by law, but a lot of places that sell X also recycle it when it's used up. Car parts places take used motor oil + car batteries, Home Depot takes old drill batteries.

Before you reinvent the wheel, google.
Staples + best buy recycle electronics for free.

I don't know if they are in your region, but heres:

If you've stripped metal from somethin, you don't have to melt it yourself. Haul it to a scrap yard. They pay you by the pound. Steel, aluminum, copper, it's all worth $. At the big yards, they weigh your vehicle, you empty it, they weigh your vehicle again. In my exp a truckload of metal crap brings about $60.