The Importance of Using Recycled Wastes
The matter of using recycled fiber entails a lot of environmental benefits. Recycling paper means lessening the demand on forest trees since it will take about 10 to 20 years before a tree grows into full maturity. In fact, a single tree can produce only 8,333.33 sheets of copier paper, which is still a far cry from the millions of tons of paper annually and globally produced. Obviously, forests from all over the world cannot keep up with this demand if nothing will be done about it.
As far as using recycled fiber is concerned, there are other ways and other fibrous materials that can go into recycling. The latest recycling technologies in using recycled fiber have been developed as a way of waste management; the following are some examples:
The “Knowaste Technology”
This technology was developed by a UK company to provide global solution in the waste disposal management of one of the most widely used fibrous materials filling up the landfills. These are the absorbent hygienic products or the disposable diapers and feminine and adult napkins we all know of. A community who will be using recycled fiber can benefit from having this kind of technology. Young and old members of the community contribute largely in adding up to these wastes. In fact a single household can be a multiplied by the number of users as well as the number of disposable absorbent materials they contribute.
The Knowaste process involves the collection of absorbent hygienic products to be deposited to a Knowaste plant. The plant uses its mechanized facilities to sterilize the materials and separate the individual components of each absorbent material. The organic fiber residues, absorbent polymers and plastic linings are separated to be processed for reuse.
All these sub-material can be used in producing and using recycled fiber in the form of plastic wood, plastic roofing materials, absorbent materials, recycled paper materials and organic wastes that can be used for green energy. However, all of these materials will have to undergo disinfection, filtration and cleaning and final screening before they are compressed and stored in the form of pellets ready for sale and distribution to end users.
Carpet Fiber Recycling Technology
Carpet Waste Fiber Used as Concrete Reinforcement
A typical carpet has surface nylon fibers and fiber yarns plus two layers of backings. Scientists at Georgia Tech have developed the latest recycling technologies in using recycled fiber like nylon. The fiber’s chemical composition can be recycled and used as concrete reinforcements. Carpet wastes and its components were developed as Fiber for Concrete Reinforcement (FRC) materials to be mixed with cement, river sand, water, crushed granite and some super plasticizers. Tests have shown that a plain mix of concrete is brittle and can get easily distressed compared to a cement mixture with FRC components. The concrete sample combined with the recycled carpet waste materials remained intact as the fiber materials held the concrete materials altogether.
Carpet Waste Fibers Used for Soil Reinforcement
Fiber for Soil Reinforcement, or FSR, represents shredded carpet materials which are used to reinforce the concrete mix used for road constructions. Unpaved roads in country or rural areas were used as trial sites to test the concrete strength. The result showed great promises since the traffic bearing capability of the road showed more stable soil structure.
On a personal level, we can all contribute in minimizing and managing waste by using recycled fibers in our own ways, albeit smaller scales. Recycling of old clothes into new and reusable garments, accessories and other implements like rags and backings can go a long way if every household will do the same.
This post is part of the series: Recycling Technologies
Present day recycling technologies have come up with waste management solutions for recycling discards we find hard to recycle on our own. Absorbent hygienic products, old carpets, PEP bottles and other nylon resins are now being recycled in the most environmentally productive ways.