Public: Recycling: Plastic
Personal Thermoplastic Recycler   (+14, -2)  [vote for, against]
The current recycling system is inconvenient and an expense to the tax payer why not own a personal device which recycles thermoplastic for you?

Thermoplastic is one of the easiest materials to recycle and is one of the most widely used by the consumer. A good percentage of it ends up in landfills every year making it difficult or even impossible to reclaim. The suggestion is to sell a thermoplastic molding machine to the consumer, about the size of a toaster oven, to use personally, which is completely automated to melt certain plastics, like polyethelyne, at certain temperatures and injection molding them into bottles, bins, or other sturdy containers. Other products could be bags, threads and even toys, use your imagination. The size constraints for a personal device don't apply here because it is not a large scale recycler. Would merely contain the heating element, 'melting pot' and pump for injection molding and the electronic heat regulators + molds: not very big.
-- ImBack, Aug 19 2002

half-baked http://www.lindsayb.../dgjp/djgbk/inject/
home recycling [mihali, Aug 21 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

(?) rapid prototyping machine
Build 3D modle base on computer data [bing, Aug 29 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Recyclebot digests milk jugs to feed MakerBot
Just as first specified! [BunsenHoneydew, Sep 25 2010]

if the idea is to *sell* the machine, this might be mfd'd on account of consumer advice. If this idea is the toaster sized machine itself, I'd expect it to be baked (in a sealyesque mood, today).
-- yamahito, Aug 19 2002

Cool. Kinda like an eco-friendly cross between "creepy crawlers" and "Vac-u-form" toys I had as a kid.

Making bottles in something like this might be more than a bit challenging but I can see some possibilities.
-- half, Aug 19 2002

Good comparison! This idea is very similar to creepy crawlers/vac-u-form, and also exemplifes that it is possible on the small scale. Thanks.
-- ImBack, Aug 19 2002

Use this product to melt (bake?) prototypes of other half-baked ideas...
-- Mr Burns, Aug 19 2002

To be truly halfbaked, perhaps this should be equipped with a 3d scanner and mold making apparatus to enable the device to recycle the object in to an exact duplicate of its original self.
-- half, Aug 19 2002

-- ImBack, Aug 19 2002

Like it...plastics are one of the few things I can't find a recycling outlet for round my way. Not sure exactly what I'd make using it, but that's half the fun.
-- -alx, Aug 19 2002

What's the suggested use for people who have loads of recyclable plastic, but no use or need for new plastic items? Would people who don't want newly molded plastic stuff want to have one of these around? Maybe I need more ideas about the kinds of molds that would be available.
-- XSarenkaX, Aug 21 2002

I had a thought once about using recycled plastics to manufacture plastic recycle bins. Later that day I envisioned an email notification system that notifies you when you have new email.
-- waugsqueke, Aug 21 2002

They do use recycled plastic to make plastic recycle bins. The point of this is to allow people to remold useless plastic stuff like plastic bags into useful stuff like... plastic knives and forks. Instead of constantly buying back their old plastic. Plastics must be compatible though.
-- ImBack, Aug 21 2002

Hate to be a downer, but what do you do with the toxic fumes from the melting impurities and melting plastic?
-- barnzenen, Aug 21 2002


OR NOT, the fumes are half the fun.
-- ImBack, Aug 21 2002

great idea but it's half-baked and possibly baked if anyone bought the book in the link i've provided and actually built the thing. also, table-top injection molding presses have been available for a long time.

when plastic is recycled (i.e. chopped up and melted down again), it is considered to be of a lower grade than the original material. after a few times through this process, it is almost worthless. a second problem with this is that you wouldn't want plastic that was used to store motor oil to now be used to store your olive oil, for example. it's very difficult to decontaminate plastic so that it can be used for food storage, at least in a home environment.

croissant for the thought, though.
-- mihali, Aug 21 2002

[waugsqueke]'s got mail!
-- BinaryCookies, Aug 22 2002

It seems they also make very expensive price tags.
-- ImBack, Aug 26 2002

I worked on a 3D model building machine in my college. Basically, a ink jet printer that print wax layer on top on another layer to form a 3D wax piece base on a computer model. If the technology can advance to the degree that it uses recycable plastic for raw material and shorten the building process to minutes, we can have a machine that is similiar to the matter synthesizer in Star Trek.
-- bing, Aug 29 2002

It's a fun thing that can become a business even. How many times has someone lost a knob or plastic part of something that has several identical ones and thought, "if only I could clone this other one somehow". Mattel sold a TOY molding machine made by Rose Art Industries Inc. ( Just think if Industrial arts were really made available to the public like the internet...

Would anyone like to help bake this idea? Email to:
-- Tricknology, Jul 16 2003

Oh, poo. I was going to submit this. So much plastic goes to waste on a daily basis, I'd love to dump it into something that could create useful plastic gadgets.

I do think it will happen at some point, though. It just needs to become easy and safe enough -- then every house will have one. It'll be the new microwave.
-- mylodon, Nov 28 2007

I like this idea but I can't think of anything that would be worth remelting plastic to make.

Bun anyway on principal because melting stuff's cool.
-- doctorremulac3, Sep 26 2010

random, halfbakery