Waste water from washing the plastic & other waste
I have the idea of starting up a project in Laos (joined up with an existing NGO there). Nothing elaborated yet, business plan still in progress…
Two things I’ve been struggling with (up until now):
One of the challenges would be to have clean plastic. From my experience plastic waste in Laos is often dirty and I have my doubts if people will find the time/energy to deliver clean plastic. Therefor I was thinking of installing our own “washer”. However what to do with the dirty water (probably still containing plastic and other waste)? I need a way to prevent the water ending up in the rivers.
Secondly: I we would start collecting by ourselves, what can you do about all the other waste you encounter (assuming you don’t ignore it). I could see an opportunity to sell raw materials such as metals and even glass. But since I want to avoid setting up a whole recycling factory, easier ways would be welcome.
Btw, if the plan ever becomes reality, I will gladly share our story with its ups and downs!
On your first point of water, I have heard of several people filtering the waste water and then reusing it again for the next wash which not only prevents anything going into the local ecosystem but also reduces the required water.
The down side is potentially the cost for any filtering in different parts of the world, as I am not yet doing this myself I can’t really offer any further suggestion than that.
On the second point of everything else you can pickup it will depend in part as to what is available to you business wise in your local area.
I currently pickup “all” recyclables yet I only process a fraction of them myself until they in turn pay for more machinery.
What I do is process any metals which I then get paid for at a local scrap yard, their is a local “change for your beverage containers” scheme so all glass, aluminium and plastic beverage bottles goes to this scheme (I remove the lids to recycle myself), plastics that are left that I can process are sorted and used and pretty much anything that is left (paper, cardboard, glass) I can take to a local waste transfer station and place in their recycling area.
Unfortunately in Australia Glass has virtually no value (-$35 to $0 a ton) most of the time, although you could see if their are any glass recyclers in your area that would either buy or pickup for free any of that (can look for recyclers for paper and cardboard as well).
Not a lot of help i’m afraid but maybe something of use for you to consider 🙂
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