As mentioned I still have little idea going forward of what to do next. I'll here present the very basic Mission Statement followed by some things I've been doing so far.
Serve as an exemplar of small scale and tiny scale recycling; should generate positive publicity for waste management, waste recycling, sustainability and environmental issues; and develop and share all information gained in these processes freely and open source with members and the general public.
RCX-AU should strive to become a worldwide group of recycling operations at tiny (cottage industry up to local community organisation level) scale so that it is achievable by almost anyone.
RCX-AU's online presence should exist to disseminate this knowledge and all knowledge accumulated in future by all participating operations. It should become the means of communicating between the various operations.
RCX-AU should encourage the small scale operations to spawn larger and more commercial operations, that should however still be required to remain members of the online presence either as a new organisational unit or as an update to a tiny operation depending on which thing happened, and freely and open source share all information and designs they in turn generate.
RCX-AU should make a point of generating publicity for member operations and ensuring that all information is freely and open source shared to the public.
Stuff I've Been Doing
I've sorted, granulated, and processed various types of plastic to establish their suitability for tiny scale operations. This includes the basic types such as HDPE and LDPE, PP, and PLA.
Processes applied and evaluated have been:
- Use of a flat ('panini press') style toasted sandwich maker for making plaques and sheets out of the above plastics
- Use of ironing to make plaques and sheets out of several of the above materials (Soft LDPE and PLA)
- Use of ironing PLA and soft LDPE onto cotton materials to either form repairs, decorative effects, and waterproof construction material.
It's envisaged in future to
- To use a modified laminating machine to produce the waterproof construction materials mentioned above on a more repeatable and continuous basis
- To use a benchtop oven to produce blocks and shapes out of HDPE, LDPE, PP, PLA, and soft LDPE
- To develop a cheap and easy to operate machine to grind into flake the various materials as this is currently still an entirely manual process and slows production dramatically
- To develop a cheap and easy to operate machine to take that flake and produce commercially saleable pelletised plastic stock and 3D printable filament
- To develop a suitably cheap and easy to operate machine for pressing and injection molding the plastic
I've kept photos and instructions they'll be placed on the RCX-AU site once it's paid for purchased and inaugurated.
Stuff I can Do With Help With
I've been doing quite a lot as you can see above. In addition to that (which takes between a few hours a week up to 30 hours when I can spare money to get materials, components, and machines) I've been developing some of the text content for the new website, and also maintaining a series of blogs (initially for income for the project only) which take 30 - 50 hours per week alone, and then trying to also develop directions for RCX-AU, figure out what's needed to make it a proper legal entity, figure out what online software we need to use, how to generate a higher public profile, etc.
I could use help with all of the following:
- Making RCX-AU a proper organisation
- Creating a suitable web site (not purely a forum, not purely a blog / magazine style site, not just a bunch of random pages) with a distinct house style and appearance that will be recognisable in all media
- Creating content for that website in all sections
- Bookkeeping, committee / meeting runners, all the things that will arise in the organisational sphere
- Operating communications such as newsletters, the Discord server, a Twitter presence, social media presences, Zoom, Twitch, Youtube channel, etc
- Machine development across geographically separated locations, brainstorming
- Zoom meetings for developers, web workers, office bearers, etc.
As you can see, any assistance you can give would be helpful. It may only be needed temporarily as things become formalised and streamlined, but there's definitely spots for people.
The sky could be the limit.
The whole point of RCX-AU is not to become a major player in recycling and sustainability but they should definitely think of us when the topic is mentioned, and we should make them think of those topics when they come to our site(s).
I'd ideally like to see that there are hundreds to thousands of small scale organisations start all around the world and make cottage industry money, get used to the processes and start larger operations with better and more secure incomes, and evangelise RCX-AU so that others too will get involved.
Another aim is that people will, through the actions of RCX-AU and the web presence(s), come to understand how their actions are helping to cause the waste problem, to understand that recycling and recovering materials is an extremely prestigious and worthwhile occupation, and to pressure the big players (who don't bear all the responsibility for the waste situation but most certainly did create it by not taking back their waste nor developing a cradle to cradle flow for them) to also start recycling and using recycled/recovered waste material rather than digging new materials out of the ground or generate new plastic from petrochemicals.
And finally of course it's hoped that each operation can make a difference to their local community, taking waste out of the waste stream and producing useful and decorative items for local use.