|GRN Recycle Talk FAQ
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 15:16:25 -0400 (EDT) From: FRIEDMAN.FRED@EPA.GOV (Fred Friedman) Subject: Re: Is there anything that can't be recycled (Oscar West)
June 7, 1999
Dear Oscar West,
I know what you mean - substances or products that can't be recycled because the technology isn't there to do it or because industry hasn't thought to do it. The answer to that one is, yes, some things are in this category: multi-time recycled paper can't be recycled after about the 8th recycling, assuming it is a closed loop system using just those fibers. Anything with elevated levels of heavy metals can't be recycled (CRTs for example).
But the real answer is, many things for which markets don't exist can't be recycled. So, for example, where I live in Massachusetts, you can'r recycle:
aluminum pie plates
wire coat hangers
plastic coated wires
glass lenses from eyeglasses
Technically, these can be recycled; that is not the argument. Practically, no markets exist, or if they do, the processing is prohibitive or the fear that they and other items might contaminate a proven sourced feedstock, will prevent there actually being recycled.
I'm sure that there are many more examples, and only lack of imagination currently prevents me from providing a longer list.
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