Recycling old plastic?

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Recycling old plastic?

Post by andyc on Thu May 10, 2018 7:55 pm

One of the problems we find at the Repair Cafes in Sheffield and Chesterfield is that we often end up with unfixable items (especially electricals) that the owner wants to donate for spare parts. While it's always useful to dismantle things for screws, switches, plugs etc, we usually end up with lots of plastic casing and internal components we can't do anything with. Until now it's gone to our local dump it site and ended up in the general waste. But I've got the germ of an idea and I'm looking for anyone with more knowledge than me who may be able to advise.

While surfing the internet I came across a think called a 'filastruder' https://www.filastruder.com/ that converts plastic pellets (or in our case possibly ground up plastic cases etc) into filament that is in turn used in 3D printers. Suddenly I could see a nice closed loop of all this old plastic getting ground up by us and converted into filament, which could in turn be used to make 3d printed parts to use in other repairs. or maybe we could even sell the filament to raise funds?

While I know a bit about computers, my knowledge of 3D printing is a big fat zero. So I was wondering if there is anyone else on here who could give me any advise? From my hobby of restoring vintage telephones I've learned a bit about plastic types and I think most of the electrical stuff such as old CD players, computers, food mixers etc is made out of ABS. Is ABS filament any good?

I'd be most grateful for any help.

Andy.

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Re: Recycling old plastic?

Post by Jilly Shuker on Mon May 14, 2018 2:46 pm

Hello Andy

I have no idea how you would go about recycling the plastic into other things, but your comment has reminded me that we also receive donated items that don't work, for spares but I usually end up taking them to our Household Waste recycling centre. If it is electrical then it goes in the WEEE box. Clients do seem to think that we are another line/stream of waste reduction and to that end I have applied for a Waste Transport licence. Strictly speaking we should not transport any waste for anyone other than ourselves. It is free and easy to do.

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Re: Recycling old plastic?

Post by andyc on Tue May 15, 2018 9:07 pm

That's a good point about waste. The question is what is waste though? The way I look at it, waste is something of absolutely no value that you want rid of. Most of the broken stuff we get I'd say does still have a value because it gets stripped down for two specific reasons. 1, it yields loads of useful bits (even if it's only screws) and 2, it's a good way to learn how items go together by back engineering them, especially for new fixers who maybe haven't taken anything like that apart before.

As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure! Smile

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