At Crow Recycling cans are crushed and baled using machinery so they are ready for recycling. The Crow can driver visits can banks in Coventry and Warwickshire and brings the empty cans to the warehouse in the van. Some people collect aluminium cans and bring them to warehouse where we pay a few pence per kilogram for them.
Used drinks and food cans are usually either steel or aluminium. Our first job is to find out which. We sort them with a magnet. The steel cans stick to the magnet and the aluminum ones don’t.
Then they are loaded into machines to be crushed and baled.
The crushed cans, in blocks called biscuits, are sold to scrap metal dealers who sell them to recycling plants.
There they are melted down and reshaped into blocks of aluminium. The blocks are made into aluminum products such as more cans, bicycles, parts of buildings and parts of cars.
Paper needs to be sorted into different grades to be recycled separately. At Crow companies and organisations pay us to collect waste paper and either destroy it by shredding it or sort it to be recycled.
At the Crow paper sorting table is sorted into letter paper, shiny paper and newspaper. Each category needs to be recycled separately to make sure the end product is good quality. Some of the sorted paper is sent to paper mills to be recycled.
Some paper at Crow isn’t sent to be recycled – instead it is shredded and baled then sold for animal bedding and packaging. That’s mostly confidential information such as medical records or old school reports which need to be destroyed to protect peoples’ privacy. Pig farmers, horse owners and people who run commercial dog kennels buy our paper bedding. Crow has two machines to shred and bale paper. They’re quite modern machines but work the same way as the original shredders invented in Nazi Germany by automotive technician Adolf Ehinger. After handing out anti Nazi leaflets he put some spare in his bin. A nosy neighbour rifled through his rubbish, found the leaflets and threatened to report him to the authorities. Mr Ehinger was so worried he came up with a way of shredding documents using a pasta maker. After the war he developed his idea into a commercial paper shredder.
ART AND CRAFT MATERIALS
At the Scrapstore waste materials are reused for arts and crafts. Reusing is different form recycling as there is no process involved – the waste doesn’t get crushed, shredded, baled or melted. Instead it us used again as it is.
That makes reusing better for the environment as there is no need to use electricity to run machinery to shred, bale or for any other process.
People with things such as fabric, paper and wool they don’t need but don’t want to throw away give them to the Scrapstore. Customers buy them for craft projects.