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A randon thought about reusing, recycling and replacing.

In today's environment everyone is thinking green. Recycle, reuse. But what about replace? Is there still a spot for that in today's environment?

So tonight, I spent 1/2 hour cleaning out my glue-bot bottle that I have had for 2 years. It took about 1/2 hour and lots of hot water. I have done this about 3 times a year for 2 years. Little fella' is kind of near and dear to my heart now, know what I mean? :)

Then I thought: when does it become more environmentally friendly to REPLACE vs. RECYCLE vs. REUSE? The amount of water I have used over 2 years to clean this little thing, and the electricity, and then the water needed to be processed in a waste-water facility. I could have just put the little fellow in the plastic recycling bin and bought another. There are some advantages to that:
1. Recycling plastic is a good thing
2. It gives lots of people jobs, the folks to pick it up, the folks who sort it, the folks who recycle it, the folks who make it into something new, the folks who sell it.
3. It supports the economy (see above).

Same applies to stuff like saw blades, old tools, etc. They can all be recycled and made into something new.

So, what do you think? Do you wash out your glue bottle?
 

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Didn't a1Jim mention a little while back that if glue freezes it's shot then?

Chip, you make some good points when you include the energy needed to clean it but I wonder how that compares and it does take energy to reprocess the recycled plastic. Better then never decomposing in a landfill though.

Here's what you do, no city water needed, no electric/gas energy to heat the water, no energy to process the waste water, no energy to reprocess the recycled plastic. Only clean the bottle in the summer, get a Solar cooker (supports the economy by buying and giving people jobs making it), catch rain water, heat the rain water in the Solar cooker, wash the bottle, dump the waste water on that little patch in your yard that everyone has where nothing grows. Totally Green now. :)
 

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Hey if you have any stuff you want to replace or throw out send them my way. Seriously I am big into reusing. I have found out its cheaper and a lot less headaches. I am also big into taking other peoples castoffs and reusing them. I built my shop from tearing down old buildings people wanted removed. I built it for about 2500 bucks, its 30×52, concrete floor was 800 of that. Then it is insulated,wired ,etc. As far as tools I prefer old over new. I have a 40s lathe,40s shaper,40s bandsaw,70s tablesaw,60s planer, 50s scroll saw. The most I have in any of them is the scroll saw, I paid 75 bucks for it. Yes I do have to buy some parts but so far I have been lucky, only about 20 -30 bucks average or parts on redoing them But then I have cast iron, or metal tools. So for example the scroll saw I have now about 100 bucks in it but its a 24 inch cast iron delta. Try to find one new for that. My personal theory on replace,recycle,or reuse is this. Get something and use it until it no longer works. Then if it can't be fixed it goes into the recycle pile and I use it to fix other stuff. I can then replace it if its not fixable. As far as reusing I reuse everything I can. As far as your glue bottle if it was just the spout that pours that is clogged I would find another cap and put on it for the time being. If I couldn't find one I would put saran wrap over the hole then a rubber band around to seal it. Then I would then just take a 2 liter coke bottle, laundry detergent bottle,etc and cut it to make a bowl out of it then put hot water in it. I would drop the cap top in it and let it set fr a few days. I have found out with glue I use I can just let it sit in water for a day or so and it will get loose off bottles. If you want to clean the entire bottle I would just drop it in a bucket big enough and let it set in water until it loosens.
 

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I've not been happy with the glue bottles that you linked to. I've got a couple and they never seemed to work rith. I just use my titebond bottles and keep refilling them until the cap is totally shot and then a new bottle of glue starts me off again. Maybe a new bottle every couple of years.

I use about a gallon of tightbond a year. Some of it veneering.
 

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Anything plastic is made of oil. Oil supply is now officially on the decline ( have we already forgotten the oil shock of 2008 which in part triggered this recession?). Recycling plastic makes us all feed good but a lot of recycled plastic is simply being bundled up and shipped to China to burn as fuel ( did I mention that plastic is oil? ) Recyclers sell where the market for recycled plastic is and so little of it becomes something else.

Reuse everything until it completely wears out and when it comes time to replace, looks for alternatives that do not include plastic.

So you're doing the right thing to keep reusing your plastic glue container.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, I didn't know that a lot of our recycled plastic goes to China. That's interesting. Do they burn it just as plastic, or do they process it first?

I also just learned, from watching "Dirty Jobs," that oil based paint can be recycled into fuel. The latex is recycled into a big mixture of paint and shipped overseas where, according to the show, it is used to paint "schools, churches and such."
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Karson, you are right. I am not pleased with this glue bottle, but it's the only one I have other than the 1 gallon master bottle of Titebond III, so I will use it until it cracks, then try something else.
 

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I´m in for recycling all what I can and so is the island were I live we split the gabage in
2 different glastype
3 different bottle colour´s
1 for tin can´s and stof like that
1 for iron
1 for electric thing
1 for ceramics
1 for paper/cardboard
2 different plastic (soft/hard)
1 for different packing stoff you can´t define
1 for used batterie´s
1 for paint/cemi off all kind
1 for the stoff that can bee used in the kitchengarden again
1 for the other gabage your hausehold produse
and then we have a place were they collect all the dangerus thing´s
like isolation matrial and asbest and so on when you rebuild your hause

and bye the way this island have the biggest solarpanel heatingsystem in the world (20000 squaremeter)and they will build it bigger next year

Dennis
 

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Here's an insight into plastic recycling in the US ( California in particular). A quick look around the internet confirms from recyclers that China is the main market. ( So far, I've found evidence of this in the US, Canada, UK, New Zealand, likely many other countries).

http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Recycling/Problem-With-Plastics5jun03.htm

The plastics collected at the Arcata and Hawthorne Street sites are baled and stored for about a month until they fill a 12-ton truckload, Loughmiller said. The truck typically contains 5 tons of milk bottles (the number 2s), 7 tons of soda and water bottles (the number 1s), and about three-quarters of a ton of the so-called "mixed plastics," the 3s through 7s, which are baled together.

They then make their way to Ming's Recycling in Sacramento (which also takes all of the plastics from Humboldt Sanitation in McKinleyville). Kenny Luong, president of Ming's, said his center has 40 or 50 suppliers in California and another 30 to 40 elsewhere in the United States and Canada. Almost all of the plastics that come into Ming's are sold to brokers in Hong Kong, who pay to transport it via container ship from the Port of Oakland to China. The transport is cheap because China exports far more to the United States than we do to them; the ships traveling back to China have plenty of room.

There is some evidence that some of it is really reprocessed ( pet(1) and hdpe(2)) but this quote from the above article is telling:

"You can't make plastics recycling work with PVC in the mix," Anderson said. So, he argued, taking the 3 through 7 plastics makes no economic sense. "Who the hell knows what China's doing with them? I don't think anyone can make a case without a smirk on their face that they're recycling 3 through 7s."

And on making new products out of old…

There are some facilities in the United States that recycle soda bottles and milk jugs "if the material is clean enough," said Luong of Ming's Recycling. But the market for recycled plastic makes it difficult, if not impossible, for recyclers to make any money. The reasons are many. Since plastic is made from petroleum, virgin plastic makers have a large supply of raw material available to them. When manufacturers can buy virgin plastic pellets or flakes for about the same amount of money as recycled plastic, there is little incentive to use recycled.

The point about burning the plastics - here's at least one reference from Canada
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/02/02/bc-recycled-plastic-burning.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Steve,
Wow, those are great articles.

In our house we recycle as much as we possibly can. Even the little foil covers from our aspirin bottles, etc., go into the metal recycle bin. Tin foil from the Christmas turkey too.

But, but, but, if the processors and the facilities that are supposedly reusing and redirecting to recycle are just passing it off as trash, then where are we really?
 

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Indeed, it is disappointing. However, as a first step I think we are still better off recycling and reusing or even repurposing as much as we can. The longer it stays out of the landfill, the better. Sadly, I think the above article suggests that only about 17% of plastics are recycled at all.

The next step for those who have done everything they can to recycle would be to cut down on the demand in the first place. Ironically, the recession is creating that reduced demand, which in turns fuels the recession since companies must cut back inventory and labor to meet the lower demand and still stay profitable. However, I think we better get used to lower growth (consumption as a way out is no longer an option ). Not only does the planet depend on it, but it's inevitable as the supply of oil diminishes against a growing population. We call it a recession, but really we should be calling it the new status quo - with worse to come - it's just taking some years to get our heads wrapped around this idea. Right now, our heads are still stuck in the toilet bowl from the hangover hoping a few stimulus pills will cure the headache.

And you thought you were just cleaning your glue pot…!
 

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I heard this great rhyme the other day:

"Use it up, wear it out, make it work, or do without."

Really got me thinking. This is not how I live my life (e.g. I'm good at using up and wearing out, but I could generally benefit from "doing without" a little more) but it was a nice little pneumonic which is not stuck in my head. Who knows… could already be changing my attitude!
 

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I actually reuse Boars-head mustard bottles (from a local sandwich shop) as my shop glue bottles- when finished, I clean them up, when they are too beat up I recycle them with the rest of the plastics.

here we have to bring our own trash to a stansfer station where everything is sorted out (by us) - trash, paper, plastics, metal, glass. for most- it's pretty good, but you always have that plastic that is too dirty/junked up that someone would throw out as trash and not recycle (they need to be CLEAN plastics),you also have the occasional 'don't know, throw everything in the trash" guy… life is too grey, no black or white.
 

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reusing is recycling at the source.

we can do the math on this. half an our @ 1 gal per minute (average flow of a typical household faucet) = 30 gallons. one gallon of water weighs 8.337 lb. One BTU is required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree F. assuming a 50F inlet to your water heater and you heat to 120F that is a 70F change. so 30 gallons X 8.337 X 70F=17507 BTU. One kwh = 3412 BTU. so this used 5.13 kwh to heat the water used. Depending on your location kwh is a different price. here in NM my electricity is very expensive at .13/kwh. so it would cost me .66 cents. your price is most assuradly different. this calculation was based on rough guestimates and that you let the hot water run straight hot for 30 minutes. also this is ignoring the cost of the actual water itself witch honestly per gallon is really really really cheap. add like 1 penny to the price for 30 gallons. Given that this is a wag i could be pretty dam close or way off base.
 

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I work for a company that buys reground plastic and turns it into furniture ( www.polywoodinc.com ) so from our standpoint keep recycling! After our chairs complete a usable lifetime (50 - 75 years) they can be reground and melted back into plastic lumber and new chairs can be made :)
 
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