What you need to know about metal-containing plastics
Metal-containing plastic is a growing category, and it’s growing exponentially in popularity.
It’s also becoming harder to recycle.
But for some metals, like copper, it’s not that simple.
Here’s what you need know about metals and their potential for recycling.
What metal can I recycle?
When it comes to recycling metals, it depends on the type of metal you’re trying to recycle, said Kristina Danker, associate director of the Center for Community Development and Innovation at The Woodlands School of Mines.
“Depending on the size and weight of the metal, the amount of space that needs to be taken up, the cost and the material that needs recycled, it really depends on what kind of metals you want to recycle.”
You can reuse metals from many different sources, but some metals are better suited for recycling than others, she said.
The most popular metals are aluminum, nickel, zinc and copper, which can be recycled in the same way.
“A lot of the metals that are recyclable are also the least expensive to recycle,” Dankers said.
The best metal for recycling is aluminum.
Aluminum can be reused in a variety of ways, including as a solder, solder paste, and coatings.
In the U.S., there are more than 300 types of aluminum.
The average cost of a gallon of aluminum is about $3.50.
Aluminum also recycles in ways that can be beneficial to the environment.
Aluminum is an efficient source of nitrogen, which is important for plant growth.
Aluminum has a high percentage of carbon in its composition, and is a good source of carbon dioxide.
In general, aluminum is a more environmentally friendly material than other types of plastics.
What is a “recycleable” metal?
Recycleable metals are used in a wide variety of applications.
Some of the most common are glass, metal-nickel alloy, and graphite.
Other types of metals that recycle include brass, titanium, and silver.
A plastic that is used in the recycling process, like a recycling container, can be recycled for recycling at a rate of 0.1% per year.
Some plastics that can’t be recycled include rubber, cardboard, paper and vinyl.
Reusable plastics can be sold for recycling, although some are more expensive than others.
In some cases, plastic is recycled in an area where it was used as a part of a manufacturing process, such as the recycling center.
“It’s not necessarily going to be 100% recycled,” Danks said.
Reusability is important, but there’s a downside.
For example, recycled plastic can become highly toxic if left in the environment for too long.
Dankering said some plastics may not be as toxic as they are initially thought.
“There are chemicals that can go into plastic after it’s recycled and they may not have been washed,” she said, “so they may contain chemicals that are toxic.”
If you need help with the recycling of plastic, look up the plastic recycling schedule or the recycling company in your area.
If you need more information about recycling, contact your local recycling facility or contact the Center on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.
The Woodlands Health Department is a public health resource and is committed to supporting residents through programs that promote physical and mental wellness.