Humans produce 1.3bn tonnes of solid waste every year. The predominant cause of such an atrocious volume of wastage is not recycling the waste efficiently. Most of the waste is neither processed nor upcycled. Man-made depressions like landfills leak through the base causing extensive soil degradation, air pollution, seeps in and pollutes ground water and leads to visual and health impact. Construction sites contribute to a lot of air pollution that include land clearing, demolition, burning of toxic materials etc. Recycling construction waste not only conserves natural resource but also saves energy.
So here are 5 ways by which we can upcycle junk for construction purposes:
Start by hoarding your paper, paper towels and toilet paper rolls. The pages of old newspapers are wound up very tightly resembling a log of wood. A special water-soluble glue is used to keep the pieces together. The result is a material which has exactly the same features of a wood that can be cut, milled and sanded. Newspaper wood is very elegant and chic when it’s incorporated as a part of your interior.
Bottles, not only serve the purpose of storage containers in kitchens but can also be used to build structures. Companies these days have started making bottles in cuboid shapes to make them easier to transport. Converting plastic bottles into bricks has allowed so many houses to be built in the most cost-efficient way possible in developing countries. The plastic bottles are stuffed with trash to give it a brick-like compaction.
TDP (Tire-Derived Products)
Recycled or shredded tire obtained from tire shredding process where in tire chips are processed through tire shredders is fused into many products used for building construction both inside and outside. Most TDP sellers provide documentation on recycled content or other advantages that can help with the green building requirements.
- Accessibility Ramps – Recycled rubber ramps have no weight limits unlike other construction materials like aluminium, wood and plastic. Rubber ramps are solid, durable and slip-resistant. They can be installed in minutes and a do not require jack-hammering or concrete saw cutting.
- Flooring – Crumb rubber from tires is used extensively to make a variety of flooring products like anti-fatigue tiles, rolled flooring and rubber flooring underlayment. They can be fixed under tiles, wood or synthetic turf to improve padding or provide vapour protection.
- Sealants – Crumb rubber is added to a variety of sealants and fillings to enhance the functioning. Application includes sealing surfaces, repairing and reducing the erosion. The crumb is added to acrylic paint to make the perfect sealant.
It is one of the greatest inventions that could help save the modern world and reduce the negative impact. Plasphalt is made up of grains of plastic produces from plastic waste which substitutes for the sand and gravel. Asphalt mixture blends better with plastic than with gravel or sand. Plasphalt roads are at a far lower risk of wear and tear than regular asphalt.
Bricks made by recycling old plastic bags are known as Recycled blocks. Old plastic bags are difficult to recycle in any other way. The bags are heated and forced together to form the blocks. They are extremely light in weight to act as load bearing walls, so they can be used to divide walls and corridors.
There has been a huge effort to recycle and reuse for years. We need to take a stand responsibly rather than making the place we live in a mere dumping ground.. Developers and owners should consider building materials with recycled content. Resources with recycled content are available both for exterior and interior uses. Recycled wood products for cabinets and countertops made from glass and plastic are not just appealing but also add a lot of character to your apartment or condo. Reducing, reusing and recycling helps reduce carbon dioxide emission, limits the amount of landfill space created and lessens humanity's environmental footprint.
Erich Lawson is very passionate about the environment and is an advocate of effective recycling. He writes on a wide array of topics to inform readers on how modern recycling equipment can be used by industries to reduce monthly wastage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment saving techniques by visiting his blog Compactor Management Company.