Engineering Grad Seeking Solutions to a Vexing Plumbing Problem – UVA Today

PVC pipes can certainly be recycled. They’re typically gspherical into pellets or powder, or chemically damaged Proper down to molecules, After which reformed into plastic. From earlier stints with completely different corporations, Otis knew most plumbers didn’t bcompletely different And merely tossed PVC pipes into the trash.

One drawback, Based mostly on Lindsay Ivey-Burden, an assistant professor in UVA’s Division of Engineering Methods and Environment, is that what makes PVC the go-to pipe for plumbers May even be what makes it exhausting to recycle. Chemical components Inside the manufacturing course of Could make PVC very inflexible, or pretty versatile, Ivey-Burden said, And completely different people completely different pipes can’t be mixed in a recycling bin.

In accordance to the Environmental Safety Agency, producers produce about 870,000 tons of PVC Yearly, however so little is recycled that A pair of of the agency’s charts spherical down The quantity to 0%.

An factor of That is the economics, Ivey-Burden said. As a Outcome of household PVC isn’t routinely changed – And since of time-consuming sorting course of – “it’s Unlikely value-efficient to recycle, and there Aren’t A lot of places prepared to recycle it.”

Otis is Aware of that from expertise.

He and Agnew did some evaluation and ended up at a recycling center in Troy. He says it’s The one place Inside the Charlottesville space Which will recycle PVC.