In chemical engineering, recycling refers to the process of reacting two chemicals in an environment in which one is far more prevalent than the other. For instance, if for some reason you wanted to make some of Auric Oxide, you might sprinkle gold dust into a large chamber filled with concentrated oxygen. Almost all of the gold will react, but there will still be plenty of Oxygen left over. The reason for doing it this way is that by flooding the environment with one chemical, you can greatly speed the rate of reaction. Note also that you're speeding the reaction by flooding the environment with the relatively cheap component.

The 'recycling' part comes at the end of the process, when you take out your auric oxide. You'll still have a lot of unreacted O2 left over. This Oxygen can just be recycled back into the tank for the next reaction.

A Civilization advance.
Although scrap metals and other materials have been re-used in manufacturing processes for some time, true recycling is a broad-based, household-by-household effort. The increasing pollution generated by industry and consumerism, added to the depletion of natural resources, make the re-use of materials less a concern of efficiency and more a necessity for the survival of the human species. When recycled, old paper products spare trees, plastic containers save oil, and aluminum saves electricity.
Prerequisites: The Democracy and Mass Production.
Allows for: none.

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If you are lucky enough to have regular pickup of recylcables, this day might come once a week, usually on the same day as garbage day. Practices vary greatly depending on geographic region and on the service provider. For example, some independent waste disposal companies provide recycling pickup, but they charge extra for it. Many major cities include recycling pickup as part of their normal garbage pickup service. Some providers accept a very limited array of recyclables and militantly demand precise sorting. Others are more laid back, letting the customer dump it all in a bin, because the recycling guy sorts it at pickup time.

Recycling technology in Australia has taken large advances for the better in recent years and Coles Supermarkets has furthered the development by implementing these processes, ideas and initiatives:

Plastic Bags
Checkout plastic bag recycling bins were introduced in our supermarket chain in October 1995. Since the introduction it is estimated that more than 1600 tonnes of plastic (including shrink wrap) have been recycled annually. The plastic is recycled into plastic products such as flowerpots, farm irrigation piping and garbage bins.

As an extension to this checkout bag recycling program, our stores in Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia are currently using large plastic checkout bags with recycled content. The trial started in Tasmania in September 1997. These bags are made from clean 'post industrial waste' (this is clean factory waste, half new and half off-cut and scrap).

Paper Bags
In December 1997, a trial of re-usable paper bags was commenced in the Australian Capital Territory.

The paper bags, called Envirocare TM, give customers an extra choice at the checkout. The bag costs 15 cents AUD, but a rebate of 2 cents AUD is given every time the customer reuses it at the store. Customers can use the bags many times.

Calico Bags
Our own co-branded calico bag has been recently introduced and has been specially designed to operate with our standard packing frames. Customers can purchase the bags for $2 and a rebate of 2 cents is provide for each use. These are available in most stores.

Plastic Wrap Recycling
Since early 1995 we have recycled plastic shrink-wrap packaging at the back of our stores in conjunction with our checkout bag recycling program.

Store and Office Recycling Programs
Since 1988 we have recycled all paper and cardboard packaging at the back of our stores and distribution centres, and waste paper in all states and offices, and national office. On average 70,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard are recycled per year.

Smartbox System
Following successful trials in Victoria, at Eltham and Healesville, the Smartbox system has been fully implemented at Margaret River (Western Australia).

The Smartbox is a resusable plastic box that customers can purchase and use in the store for grocery handling and also use at home in-between supermarket visits.

Customer response to this system has been encouraging and we are planning to extend the availability of Smartbox into more stores this year.

Putrescible Waste
Coles Queensland and Veroom Industries have recently been awarded Runner Up in the Best Organic Marketing Category of the National Organic Federation inaugural awards.

Veroom Industries is a large Worm Farm, Composting and Cane Farming operation. The 1000 acre farm is certified fully organic and is regularly tested to maintain the strict guidelines.

Coles and Veroom are working together to recycle organic waste from 62 Queensland stores via 240L bins that collect fresh food waste from preparation areas. The stores remove on average 90 tonnes of waste from landfill destinations each week, which is both environmentally smart and reduces the cost of waste disposal for Coles.

The organic waste is transported to Veroom Industries where it is transformed into Potting Mix, Soil Improver and Concentrated Liquid Fertilizer, which is now ranged in all Coles' Queensland stores.

Additional trial programs are currently being carried out in Victoria, NSW and WA.

Honeycomb Can Carriers
Honeycomb can carriers are plastic devices used to hold cans together, such as six packs of beer, and are made from the same plastic as shopping bags.

Honeycomb can carriers can now be recycled through all our stores in Victoria via the existing in-store plastic checkout bag recycling bins.

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