Cans donated by the Maybird Shopping Park in the crusher and baler A big thank you to the Maybird Shopping Park in Stratford for a donation of aluminium cans. Our disabled volunteers are running machinery to crush and bale the cans which is the first step of the recycling process. When they're all turned into rectangular blocks, each containing hundreds of compressed cans, Crow will sell them to recycling plants to be made into new cans. Aluminium is one of Crow's recycling star materials because it can be recycled over and over again and be as good as new. It's also cheaper to recycle than extract from the ground which means there's plenty of demand for this light strong and incredibly useful metal. We regularly receive aluminium cans from a wide range of people and organisations. Our standard policy is to pay 30 pence per kilo, going down to 25 pence if we collect them in our van. However some organisations opt to donate cans. A big thank you to the Maybird Shopping Park and everyone else who supplies us with aluminium cans whether paid or donated.
Steel cans crushed and baled Children doing projects on recycling can visit Crow's new learning web page. With educational visits to the warehouse suspended due to the Coronavirus at Crow Recycling we have created fact files about can and paper recycling. There are also videos showing what goes on in the warehouse. Online resources come second best to a visit but sadly are the best we can do at the moment. Nothing really compares to seeing the machinery in action and having a go at some of the warehouse jobs. Primary school aged children visiting the warehouse are always pleasantly surprised to discover they are allowed to help operate industrial recycling machinery, even under strict supervision. One of the best bits of the visit is when a child is called over to the aluminium can crushing and baling machine, ear defenders on, and shown which dials to turn and buttons to press to switch it on. The internet can't replicate the feeling they get as the machine clanks and roars into life. In a similar way it's impossible to recreate the class challenge of clearing the paper sorting table with every piece in the right stillage. But until it's safe to host visits again there's no choice but to make do with online resources. Visit our learning web page here. Our You Tube channel is here.
PAPER Paper and cardboard are the most recycled materials in the UK - 79 per cent were recycled in 2017 Newspapers are made with a mix of recycled and new paper. The majority of the mix is recycled paper. The new paper makes the mix good enough quality to put through a printing press Paper degrades every time it recycles and can only survive the process between five and seven times At Crow the most money is paid for sorted white office paper. It has the longest fibres and can be used to make more good quality paper Sorted newspaper and coloured paper with shorter fibres aren't as valuable because they can only be made into lower quality paper such as more newspaper or toilet paper Paper from Crow with no confidential information on it is sorted and sent to paper mills where it goes through a complex process of chopping, shredding, pulping, de-inking, drying and rolling before being ready to use again The General Data Protection Rules govern how organisations manage confidential information which covers paper with names, addresses and other personal details. At Crow we shred confidential paper into small pieces so the words are unreadable Paper shredded and baled at Crow is bought by customers for animal bedding and by mail order companies needing packaging
STEEL Steel cans ready to crush Steel is the most recycled metal in the UK and the world Steel was first used to can food in the early 19th century in France to preserve food for Napoleon's army Food cans are usually steel - if it looks like a bean can it is almost always steel Drinks cans can be either aluminium or steel - some canning operations have two sets of machinery side by side and switch between aluminium and steel depending on the current prices of the two metals Sorting steel works well on automated recycling operations because it's the only common metal that's magnetic so it's easy for machines to separate it from other waste. Most cars include recycled steel Crushed and baled steel isn't worth as much as aluminium. Prices for both change all the time but generally steel brings in a quarter of the price of aluminium Steel is an alloy which means it is made by combining several substances - the main ones are iron and carbon Indian metal workers in 400BC were the first to produce steel Today China is the world's biggest producer of steel
CANS 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 Waste paper 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' [...]
ALUMINIUM FACTS Recycling an aluminium can takes only five per cent of the energy needed to make a new one There is plenty of aluminium in the earth's crust - it's the third most abundant metal - but it's so expensive to extract that using recycled aluminium is cheaper. Extracting aluminium uses a process called electrolysis which uses large amounts of electricity running up big bills It takes just two months to turn a used aluminium can into a new can and get the new can back on the shelf in a shop Aluminium can be recycled over and over again and still be as good as new Aluminium is not magnetic so it's easy to separate from steel which is magnetic Aluminium needs to be crushed and baled with machinery before it can be recycled An average of 113,200 aluminium cans are recycled around the world every minute Aluminum is one of the metals used to build New York's Empire State Building Cars, bicycles, aeroplanes and buildings are all made partly from aluminium because it is both strong and lightweight. Recycling centres such as Crow make money by selling crushed and baled used aluminium to recycling plants. The price changes depending on global demand for aluminium. Sometimes it drops so low it isn't worth selling any until the price goes up again.
Scrapstore Development Worker Lauren Dunn We're here and we're open. The Crow Recycling Scrapstore is open Mondays to Thursdays. We're selling budget art and craft materials 9.30am to 3.30pm Mondays to Thursdays. Bargains on offer include fabric for £1.50 a metre, sheets of paper from 2p each new balls of wool £1 each and part used balls from 25p each. It's a membership shop costing £10 a year to join. We are asking people to wear facemasks while shopping. Because the rooms are quite small only one household at a time can shop in the upstairs rooms. For more information visit our Scrapstore web page, e mail email@example.com or ring us on 02476552444.
When customers send us documents for destruction or recycling removing plastic wallets is part of the service we provide. Sadly they're really difficult to recycle requiring high temperatures and a complex process. They're made of polypropylene which is possible to recycle in theory but in practice it doesn't happen very much. Here at Crow we haven't found anywhere that can take them. So instead if they don't contain any text, as these ones above don't, we give them away for reuse. Most people want to use them for their original purpose storing documents. There are a few other uses for them too. Here are some few ideas. Protecting printed out recipe sheets from spills and splashes in the kitchen Craft packs for kids for journeys or long waits - the ones open on one side are particularly useful for this and can take stickers, fake feathers, magazines and coloured paper. Toddler no mess finger painting. Put the paint inside, tape up the top and they can paint by running fingers on the outside of the plastic Toddler sensory toy. Fill with gel such as hand sanistiser and small beads, tape up and let the toddler play. Labelling storage boxes. Tape one on the side of the storage box and then it's easy to drop in a new label when the contents change Any more ideas please leave a comment. Thanks.
If there's one thing the pandemic underlined at Crow it's how important we are to our volunteers. Our volunteers are returning gradually now we have reopened the warehouse with socially distanced measures in place. It's a staggered start working gradually up to our usual numbers to ensure our measures to keep everyone safe are working properly. As a general rule our volunteers don't chat about why they like volunteering here - they just get on with the job. But during the pandemic they, their relatives and their carers told us how important volunteering at Crow is. It has been a tough time for our volunteers. Most have a disability and some live in supported housing with help from carers. The pandemic took away the regular routine of helping out at Crow. Some had close relatives who were shielding. Those volunteers missed out on the visits and visiting they were used to. Some helped out from home. All were keen to come back as we made plans to reopen. At Crow we have taken a number of steps to make sure we are still here in the future for our volunteers. We closed temporarily at the height of lockdown and are no longer open Friday mornings - we're open Monday to Thursday now. A discretionary grant from Coventry City Council has done much to help as well. So we're open to provide work placements for our volunteers by selling animal bedding, collecting and destroying confidential documents, collecting non confidential paper and processing cans for recycling.
Crow Recycling including the Scrapstore is having a summer shutdown in August. The shutdown begins at 4pm on Thursday August 13 and ends at 9am on Tuesday September 1. Extra bags will be handed out to customers who need them for confidential and non confidential waste. At Crow there are only two full time staff. The rest of the work is done by volunteers and part time staff. Crow can't operate with just one full time staff member while the other is on annual leave. So Crow has a shutdown to allow both to take their annual leave. Apologies for any inconvenience.