Latest Innovations for Recycling and Waste Management

Recycling practices are under constant innovation, as new applications and emerging technologies enhance the ways in which waste can be managed. Guided by government regulations, these changes lead to massive differences in the way we recycle and what recycled materials can be used for.

At SL Recycling, we’re committed to adapting to the progression in recycling innovations to respond to the ever-changing needs of our customers. That’s why we’ve put together this article on different recycling innovations in 2023 including materials, processes, and products.

If you’re in need of recycling services or good waste management for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch or receive a quote.

Recycling Innovations for Materials 2023

Changes in technology, regulations, and innovations in recycling methods mean that waste management providers must constantly adapt. These changes provide a more sustainable way to handle waste, improving environmental impact while make use of what would otherwise be waste products.

Recycling for Wood

Composite Timber Materials. Timber buildings and timber-hybrid construction have become more and more prevalent as developments in recycling have led to the production of strong composite materials from wood waste. This is because products made from recycled wood fibres offer a high grade of stability and weight capacity due to innovations in recycling practices.

Wood Waste Regulations 2023. These regulations refer to the classification of wood waste from construction, demolition, and home renovations – think things like doors, window sills, and beams. Several different types of wood categorised under these regulations as Grade D or pre-2007 have been designated as hazardous unless specific tests are done to prove otherwise, changing the way in which these types of wood are handled during waste management.

Recycling for Paper

A significant innovation in paper recycling during 2023 was brought about due to the 2022 Defra report on Resources and Waste Strategy. This report incorrectly deduced that paper and cardboard recycling had reduced in rate by a large enough percentage to affect the overall recycling rate of all materials by a significant margin.

However, discussions between Defra and Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) officials revealed that the reported rate for paper and card recycling doesn’t match the actual values. This gap was brought about by recent changes in the methods for waste estimation.

Due to this difference, it was concluded that the reported figures from before 2014 were actually the ones that had misleading values, while the current values are more accurate with 70% of paper in the UK being recycled and 80% of paper products being made from recycled paper.

Recycling for Metal

The recycling process for metal extraction from waste has traditionally involved heat or acid, but these methods don’t always work due to factors such as:

  • Thin coatings of other elements.
  • Mixing with other elements.
  • Degradation in some way.

Recent innovations by SOLCRIMET, a European project on metal recycling, have uncovered a way in which high-purity metals can be recovered from waste in a cost-efficient, sustainable manner.

This method uses pairs of organic solvents that don’t mix with one another. The different materials that are present in the metal waste respond to the different solvents, dissolving and separating when the solvents are moved apart.

Through a purification process involving electrorefining the liquids, using electricity to pull apart the contents of the solvent, the target metals can be recovered.

This process uses less resources than previous extraction methods, making it more efficient and environmentally friendly. It also helps its green features by utilising biodegradable solvents that are made from renewable materials.

Find out about our metal recycling services for South Wales and Bristol >

New Recycling Processes for Good Waste Management

At SL Recycling, we keep a close eye on changes in recycling processes, allowing us to deliver our customers in South Wales and Bristol the best waste management practices available based on cutting-edge research and technologies.

Plastic Recycling Processes 2023

New developments from Cardiff University are paving the way for improvements in plastic recycling. AS it stands, plastics can only be recycled a finite number of times. Eventually, they end up in a landfill or being incinerated which both lead to a number of environmental challenges.

The study by Cardiff University has revealed a process through which coloured plastics, or polymers, can be de-colourised, broken down, and remade into pure plastics – a unique achievement in the industry of plastics recycling.

Through this process, known as depolymerisation, the team at Cardiff University were able to revert their products back into their original state. During this process the colours could also be removed, increasing the recyclability and sustainability of the plastics in question.

This process has not yet fully refined and further developments are underway to make it into a viable solution for commercial and industrial use.

Wood Waste Recycling Processes 2023

For wood waste, the 2023 regulations have made it so that certain types of wood are now automatically categorised as hazardous unless opted to undergo specific testing. While this reduces the quantity of wood that is recycled, it only makes up less than 1% of wood waste from the construction and demolition industries, meaning the impact is not large.

At the same time, it improves the quality of wood waste recycling, enabling greater safety for further innovations in recycled wood products.

For good waste management and recycling utilising the latest innovative practices, get in touch.

Innovative Products Made from Recycled Materials

Due to enhancements in recycling technologies, more and more products can be made from the materials that result. This is due to their higher quality from the improved refinement processes, as well as their accessibility as a cheaper alternative to unused materials.

Some key innovative products that are being made from recycled materials are:

  • Plastic accessories like bracelets from 4Ocean or sunglasses from Sea2See.
  • Eco-friendly shoes, clothing, and sportswear.
  • Compostable packaging for bottles and other products.
  • Furniture made from recycled plastic bottles.
  • Revitalising vacant properties to reuse existing homes, including modular SHED living concepts made from recycled polyester from the LOWE Group.

With more technologies being developed all the time, it is likely that an ever-increasing amount of the products we use in our daily lives will be made from recycled materials. This leads to an increase in the need for good waste management, leading to a more sustainable and greener future.

Find out more about why recycling helps innovation with our article on the advantages of recycling metal >

Latest Recycling Innovations from SL Recycling

By understanding and making use of the latest innovations in recycling you’ll be in a great position to keep up with changes in waste management practices, improve your impact on the environment, and help support future developments and sustainable products made from recycled materials.

At SL Recycling, we provide good waste management and skips for businesses, industries, and organisations of different scales that respond and adapt to the latest innovations in technology. If you’re in need of recycling services for your business then get in touch, find out about our skip hire, or educate yourself further with some related articles.

Learn about what ‘zero waste to landfill’ means and why it is important >

See our Total Waste Management partnership with IG Doors >

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