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How to Separate Recyclables at Home before Recycling


Kabadiwalas and online scrap collection services work tirelessly for recycling our scrap. If you are wondering how you can extend a helping hand from your home, you have come to the right place!

You can do your bit by separating the recyclables before giving them to the kabadiwala. It is always better to make this a gradual process and do it continually to avoid clutter in the house.

Separating the recyclables is the first and most important step to help with recycling.

Recycling is the process of breaking down and reusing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash. It is one of the best ways to make an impact on India’s waste management problem.

Separating recyclables before recycling

Step 1 – Make separate recycling bins and label them

To make our process easier and organized, we can start by labeling our recycling bins in which we will be putting the sorted scrap. What is the purpose of doing so? This makes it easier for the recycling centers to process the scrap as contamination can be identified earlier. It also helps cut down costs, making it a more sustainable practice.

Step 2 – Waste separation time!

Paper Recycling

·   Make two divisions for newspapers and other papers.

·   Other paper includes magazines, envelopes, letters, office paper, notebook paper.

·   Recycled paper is used to make new paper which helps reduce deforestation.

Cardboard Recycling

·   Corrugated cardboard and grey paperboard are great recyclable items. But make sure they are dry!

·   If the cardboard is stained with oil, it cannot be recycled.

·   Recycling cardboard can help make tissues, paper towels, and cereal boxes.

Metal Scrap – Brass, Aluminum, Copper, Steel, Iron

Aluminum scrap is the most recyclable of all items.

·   Aluminium cans and Aluminium foil can be recycled and help make aluminum mechanical parts.

·   Food cans can be recycled after they are rinsed and their labels and removed.

·   Paint and Aerosol cans must be labeled and kept separate from other metals as they are hazardous.

Copper scrap and Brass scrap have been recycled for thousands of years.

·   Copper and brass do not degrade during recycling.

·   Recycling copper reduces the toxins released in the environment.

·   The recycling process of brass is less energy-intensive.

Steel scrap and Iron scrap have magnetic properties which help in their recycling process.

·   Recycling steel minimizes consumption and expenses to mine worthy resources.

·   Iron can be melted to create new recycled items.

Recycling bins for separation of recyclables

Plastic Recycling

Recycling plastic must be done as it does not break down in landfills. However, there are some plastics that cannot be recycled. It is best to check with your local kabadiwala or online scrap collection service.

Here’s a list of plastics that CAN be recycled

·   PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) – water bottles, plastic trays

·   HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) – milk cartons, shampoo bottles, detergent bottles

·   PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) – piping

·   LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene) – food bags, squeezable bottles

·   PP (Polypropylene) – plastic straws, ketchup bottles, packing tape

·   PS (Polystyrene) – CD cases, plastic cutlery, Styrofoam, insulation

PP plastic recycling is least efficient so products packaged with plastic HDPE should be preferred over PP plastic to avoid waste.


Do you have electronics lying at home which are of no use to you now? Try E-Waste Recycling!

E-Waste recycling is becoming more and more important for the environment with each passing day. Materials like gold, silver, copper, aluminum, etc. can be reclaimed in the process of e-waste recycling, helping conserve natural resources. Chemical emissions and greenhouse gases are reduced when e-waste is recycled which helps keep the environment as well as humans healthy. However, proper disposal of e-waste is necessary.

·   Information Technology Devices

Mobile phones, Desktop computers, Laptops, Tablets, Hard drives

·   Entertainment Devices

TVs, DVDs, Printers, Video Game systems, Fax machines

·   Large Appliances

Coolers, ACs, Refrigerators, Washing machines

·   Small Appliances

Gas stoves, Exhaust fans, Inverters, Routers, Fans, Microwaves

Have you finished separating? Congratulations! You have made a huge step towards helping the kabadiwalas with India’s waste management problem. Now, all that is left to do is to sell scrap to a scrap buyer for recycling!

Swapeco is an innovative initiative based in Delhi, India where the efficient waste management is a priority. With a digital platform, anyone can schedule a hassle-free doorstep scrap pickup which will be processed by trained and verified partner vendors and Kabadiwalas of your area. In light of the COVID-19 health sanitary crisis, we have also launched the Zero Contact Pickup Campaign, which will ensure the maintenance of a hygienic exchange process and prioritize the safety and wellbeing of all parties involved. With Swapeco, you can contribute to the environmental improvement of India while earning money!

If you would like to schedule your first pickup, feel free to visit to learn more about what we have to offer. Also, if you have any inquiries, we are always available through social media or send us an email ([email protected]) and we will be happy to respond.

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