What is recycling?

Recycling is to turn rubbish in to something new rather than to lose it forever.

When you throw rubbish away in a bin it is sent to a big hole in the ground or it is set on fire and burnt for energy in a big energy plant. If it is sent to the big hole it is called landfill and rubbish is thrown on top of other rubbish until you can not fit anymore in and the hole and then it is closed and another is opened in a different place.

This is very damaging to the environment because of what is put in the ground and also because this rubbish is not recycled.

Every day brilliant children and adults come up with new ideas on how to recycle rubbish to protect our planet and there are now so many benefits from recycling that it is very naughty not to recycle!

Below is a picture of a naughty landfill site from Wikipedia

Recycling for kids landfill photo
Landfill sites like this damage the environment by releasing harmful gases in to the atmosphere and by releasing chemicals in to the ground. They also destroy animal homes (habitats) and can spread diseases and remove local wildlife. By not recycling we are creating a problem that can have an impact for thousands of years.

How do you recycle?

You can recycle most things with a little effort and by not throwing them in your general waste bin.

Normally recycling bins will have the below picture on them or look like the bin in the picture below

Recycling for children with bins and signage

Learn more about the most commonly recycled items below

Paper and cardboard recycling

Paper is recycled by mixing paper together and to remove all the ink it is cleaned with water and soap. Once all the ink is cleaned off the paper, it is rolled out really thin and left to out to dry.

You can create different types of recycled paper, such as coloured cardboard. This is done by adding chemicals and colours to the paper mixture whilst it is wet.

Recycling for kids with cardboard cereal boxes

So kids, how do we recycle paper and cardboard?

Tins and cans recycling

Food tins and cans should also go in the recycling bin and to recycle them they are heated to a very high temperature in a huge furnace and melted down to make metal ingots.

Each ingot can make around 1.5 million new cans!

Watch the below video to learn more

Glass Recycling

Glass can be recycled forever, over and over again. This makes you a superhero for every glass item you recycle.

To recycle glass large piles are washed and crushed in to tiny glass balls. The glass is then melted down and put in to moldings 

Glass is recycled by making piles of different coloured glass. The glass piles are then washed and crushed into little glass balls – a little bit like beads. Then all the crushed glass is melted down and put into molds a bit like when you place a baking tray in the oven but with liquid glass which is then left to cool and goes hard.

Plastic Recycling

Recycling plastic is similar to how glass is recycled however plastics go through a giant shredder and are made in to granules and flakes. These are then melted and moulded in to things like garden furniture, decking, drinks bottles, food containers and chemical bottles. 

Metal Recycling

For metals to be recycled they are first separated, this can be done by hand or by huge powerful magnets.

Once separated, the various metal types are melted down like tins and cans and made in to metal ingots. These are then sold to manufacturers to make new products such as cars, motorway signs and many other every day items.

Recycling signs and pictures to look out for

There are many recycling pictures and signs to look out for, the below are very common

Recycling Signs For Kids

Find out what you can recycle in your area with RecycleNow.com

Educational references used on this page: 

Videos: learningmole

Videos: recyclenow