How to properly recycle seals and fittings? Let us tell you
You’ve probably heard a million times now that “paper goes to paper, plastics to plastics, and metal to metal”. But what about something as specific as seals and fittings? Each region applies their own rules because separation levels are different.
The pitfalls of recycling metal
Metal recycling makes it possible to recover them for later reuse; a small insignificant benefit for you, a huge benefit for the environment. While the separation of conventional metals has remained relatively stable, the issue tends to get more complicated when specific seals and fittings come into play.
People have no idea about how to properly dispose of and recycle old, worn-out seals and fittings and it is precisely because of the lack of knowledge (and often also inertia) that they get rid of them in the most incorrect way, throwing them into municipal waste. How does the material change the rules for recycling it? Who can you contact to answer your questions? And what is the risk from you neglecting environmentally sound disposal?
What are your options?
Available information outlines three basic ways for the disposal of metal waste: through containers intended for this purpose, district scrapyards, and repositories.
Some cities in Slovakia provide a wonderful service covering the second of these options. Specifically, it guides people to the correct type of containers for their waste. Yet another option is scrapyards, although there is no guarantee that they will take everything you bring since only certain types of waste can be handled there, such as aluminum. It might take ages sometimes, but you can find out where, what, and for how much a yard will buy scrap from you, both now and in the future, if you are patient.
But cities do not get involved in business waste, so every company and organization has to deal with managing it on their own, forcing them to devise their own strategy.
Be aware that neglecting waste disposal puts you – whether the holder, processor, producer, or landfill owner – at risk of a fine ranging from €500 to €350,000, as provided in Slovakia’s Waste Act (Act 79/2015). You can be penalized for breach of duty, non-compliance with the law, incorrect waste management, or endangering human health and the environment.
If you have any questions, contact environmental officials at your district’s Department of Environmental Care or nationally at the Ministry of the Environment. Either will provide you with guidance should you not be sure about how to handle certain types of waste. Your municipality’s or city’s website will certainly have statutory information for you, whose disclosure in simplified guidelines is required by law.
You can also contact the manufacturer directly, as they should give you information about the composition of their products, from what material they are made and how to disposal of them based on the type.
Never forget to sort thoroughly
And now we have arrived here. You are holding waste in your hand and have no clue what to do with it. You’d rather throw it in the wastebasket but your conscience would never let you rest. Have no fear, there is a solution for you. Seals and fittings first have to be removed from wherever they were used and it is crucial to separate the individual materials.
Industrial fittings and other metal products have to be thoroughly sorted, separating pure aluminum from alloys and other materials if possible. Take note that clean materials will get you a lot more and you are caring for the environment as well.
What about gas struts made from high-quality metals (most often painted steel)? First, it is necessary here to get rid of any components you do not want. Even a damaged strut can still contain nitrogen and that has to be extracted. Don’t forget to drain the oil, too. Nevertheless, follow safety procedures while you are doing this to avoid injury.
Choose a reliable partner
However, the best solution is clearly to be one step ahead when you are generating such products. A great example of looking ahead is to turn to Setro, a company that distributes seals, hinges, locks, and other industrial products, as well as producing gas struts.
We realize that, in addition to quality, environmentally friendly materials are essential, too. And so are all the products we provide. Disposing of them can be a bit easier when you think in advance about how you are going to resolve it all in the end. It’s also good to know about the composition of the products and providing customers with this information so they will know themselves about how to dispose of these products properly.
If you have any questions about selecting seals, fittings, or gas struts, do not hesitate to contact us at any time. We will be happy to assist you.