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Armageddons_Engineer wrote

Aluminum, glass, steel, whitewood pallets, old news print, old book paper, old corrugated cardboard, PET plastic like used in soda bottles, those used to be fucking gold.

Now with residential one container "recycling" shit is so dirty they end up "co-burning" most of the stuff. Commercial, retail, and factory recycling streams, are still pretty good quality.

The energy needed for all traditional recycling streams is well known. Bottles, as in soda bottles, were usually just sorted, washed, refilled, maybe re-inked, and put back out there.

When glass got too dirty/contaminated, you could always grind it up and use it for fiberglass products.

https://lbre.stanford.edu/pssistanford-recycling/frequently-asked-questions/frequently-asked-questions-benefits-recycling#:~:text=One%20ton%20of%20recycled%20plastic,cubic%20yards%20of%20landfill%20space.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/a3752/4291566/

And the whole "downcycling" is part of the energy equation. Grinding up old news print and using it for insulation is pretty energy efficient. For one use cupholders, meh.. Using it for burn pellets in various kinds of pellet stoves, could be worse. Main issue there is you have to wash out any kind of borax in it, or it won't burn too well. Which is why you can't just shred recycled cardboard for burn pellets.

Book paper, is usually high grade, high density enough that its worth chasing down. Also posters of the kind called "coated sulfide" are high density, and easy to reprocess. At least as easy as any paper product is.

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