Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Recycling: Blow-molded vs. injection-molded plastics

This excerpt is from the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) website, which does a particularly good job at delineating blow-molded and injection-molded plastics. A waste hauler's ability to recycle and find markets for these materials differs. I have substituted Rumpke Recycling below, as they hold the same guidelines as DSWA. Perhaps Rumpke or the City of Cincinnati can post something similar on their respective websites. As a RecycleBank outreach intern, I get a number of questions regarding "bottles vs. butter tubs." I invite you to visit the DSWA, for additional insight on the similarities and differences of recycling programs abroad.
[Rumpke Recycling] only collects narrow-neck plastic bottles in both its Curbside Recycling Program and Recycling Drop-Off Centers. Narrow-neck plastic bottles such as water or soda bottles, shampoo bottles, and detergent bottles are accepted regardless of the recycling number found on the bottle and usually contains liquid contents. A narrow-neck plastic bottle is one that has a neck smaller than the body of the bottle. [Rumpke Recycling] does not accept wide-mouth plastic containers such as butter or yogurt containers because the manufacturing process differs from narrow-neck bottles. Narrow-neck bottles are what are referred to as blow-molded plastic while the butter tubs and yogurt containers are injection-molded plastics or a "punched" plastic. While the types of plastics for both blow-molded and injection-molded plastics is still the same, the manufacturing process is different. This results in each plastic having a different melt index, which means that they melt at different temperatures. There are not many markets for other types of plastics, which do not have a narrow-neck in the regions around [Cincinnati]. Without a market to accept the items, [Rumpke Recycling] does not have a resource that will accept and process this type of plastic.

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