Author Topic: DIY Recycling at Home!  (Read 307 times)

Offline ttubravesrock

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DIY Recycling at Home!
« on: March 12, 2019, 06:34:08 PM »
Here in the middle of Alaska there are basically no recycling options due to cost. I'm not a tree-hugger but I see how much plastic waste my wife and I generate and I wish there was a better way than sending it to a landfill. I have always tried to reduce and reuse since recycling is not an option. You can cut soda bottles in half and flip the top part over to make seed planters. Re-use shopping bags for trash bags and dog poop. etc.

Recently I learned that HDPE and LDPE can be recycled fairly easily at home with no special tools. With an oven, a knife, some wood, and some clamps, you can make HDPE blocks that you can then treat like wood for shaping. I'm going to start doing this as a hobby. I'll start making basic shapes, but I might get more advanced and try my hand at extrusion molding or making filament for 3D printers.

Has anyone on here ever tried this? If so, what problems did you run into? Did you enjoy it? Any advice?

Offline ttubravesrock

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Re: DIY Recycling at Home!
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019, 06:35:34 PM »
Here's a youtube playlist for the more advanced stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE46712F10AA99DD4

Here's a video showing how I can use basic tools to get started.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyP7YJ9O3TY

Offline Hurricane

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Re: DIY Recycling at Home!
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2019, 03:57:06 PM »
I would put the oven outside, in case of flammable or poisonous fumes.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: DIY Recycling at Home!
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2019, 04:20:26 PM »
I've seen a couple of videos.  Other than the coolness factor, I don't  have a need here to try it.  But I can see that as being a great solution to home plastic waste. 

If you do this, post some of what you've used it for.

Offline ttubravesrock

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Re: DIY Recycling at Home!
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 04:34:21 PM »
I would put the oven outside, in case of flammable or poisonous fumes.

That's a great point of concern if I do plastics besides polyethylene. However...

For HDPE and LDPE, there are no fumes to worry about according to the MSDS for both.
Neither material has a flash point that a regular oven can reach (HDPE = N/A, LDPE = +650F), so even if your oven runs too hot, it will not burn the resin.
If you were to somehow light it on fire, it does produce CO and CO2, but that is only if it is ignited.

http://montachem.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/HDPE-MSDS-English-V1.1.pdf

https://www.sipchem.com/portals/0/ModuleContent/Brochure/Files/products/polymers/LDPE-SDS-(IPC).pdf

Offline Redman

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Re: DIY Recycling at Home!
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2019, 04:44:50 AM »
Very cool. Thanks for posting this ttubravesrock.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: DIY Recycling at Home!
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2019, 02:44:25 PM »
So it looks like the melting point of HDPE is under 400F.  Easy to reach that temp.

Any idea if there's contaminants on things like milk bottles that need to be burned off?  I'm thinking of something similar to paint and oxidation that's on aluminum cans when you melt them.  For cans, you skim that junk off. 

Offline ttubravesrock

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Re: DIY Recycling at Home!
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2019, 04:26:30 PM »

Any idea if there's contaminants on things like milk bottles that need to be burned off? 

I think I'll be learning about this as I go. I'll make sure the HDPE I use is clean, but sticker residue can be difficult to remove.

Offline Redman

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Re: DIY Recycling at Home!
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2019, 05:29:06 PM »
 :popcorn: