History
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Recycling has been a common practice throughout human history. In Pre-Industrial times, scrap made of bronze and other precious metals were collected in Europe and melted down for perpetual reuse, and in Britain dust and ash from wood coal fires was downcycled as a base material in brick making. The main driver for these types of recycling was the economic advantage of obtaining recycled feedstock instead of acquiring virgin material, as well as a lack of public waste removal in ever more-populated sites.

Paper recycling began in Britain in 1921, when the British Waste Paper Association (now Confederation of Paper Industries) was established to encourage trade in waste paper recycling. Resource shortages caused by the world wars, and other such world-changing occurences greatly encouraged recycling .Massive government promotion compaigns were carried out in World War II in every country involved in the war, urging citizens to donate metals and conserve fiber, as a matter of significant patriotic importance. Resource conservation programs established during the war were continued in some countries in some countries without an abundance of natural resources, such as Japan, after the war ended.
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Recycling - I
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The next big investment in recycling occured in the 1970's due to rising energy costs (recycling aluminium uses only 5% of the energy required by virgin production, glass, paper and metals have less dramatic but very significant energy savings when recycled feedstock is used). The passage of the Clean Water Act of 1977 in the USA created strong demand for bleached Paper (office paper whose fibre has already been bleached white increased in value as water effluent became more expensive).

In 1973, the city of Berkeley, California began one of the first curbside collection programs with monthly pick ups of newspapers from residences. Since then several countries have started and expanded various doorstep collection schemes. Around this time, Woodbury, New Jersy was also a forerunner of the recycling industry in the United States, being the first in the state to mandate it.
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Recycling - II
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In 1987, the Marbo 4000 barge hauled garbage from New York to North Carolina, where it had been denied. It was then sent to Belize, where it was denied as well. Finally, the barge returned to New York and the garbege was incinerated. The incident led to heated discussions about waste disposal and recycling.

One event that initiated recycling efforts occured in 1989 when Berkeley banned the use of polystyrene packaging for keeping McDonald's hamburgers warm. One effect of this ban was to raise the ire of management at Dow Chemical, the world's largest manufacturer of polystyrene, which led to the first major effort to show that plastics can be recycled. By 1999, there were 1,677 companies in the USA alone involved in the post-consumer plastics recycling business.
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Recycling Techniques
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Many different materials can be recycled but each type requires a different technique.

Aggregates and Concrete

Concrete aggregate collected from demolition sites is put through a crushing machine, often along with asphalt, bricks, dirt, and rocks. Smaller pieces of concrete are used as gravel for new construction projects. Crushed recycled concrete can also be used as the dry aggregate for brand new concrete if it is free of contaminants. This reduces the need for other rocks to be dug up, which in turn saves trees and habitats.
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