How to Recycle Formica Laminate Scraps
Formica is a company that has produced plastic laminate for the past few decades. The Formica website explains that the laminate is used in kitchens to cover the surface of the counter tops. In order to recycle Formica laminate scraps, the material must be removed from the counter tops. Although the removal process can be taxing, the laminate can be recycled and used effectively once it is removed. An individual can take the old Formica laminate to a recycling plant that will directly recycle the product or send it to a specialty plant for advanced recycling and reuse.
Remove all of the Formica laminate before taking the material to be recycled. The Formica website explains that the laminate is installed onto counter tops in a factory setting using heat and pressure to securely bond the material to the counter (see References). As a result, the process of removing all of the Formica laminate can be lengthy.
Use a chisel to loosen the corner of the laminate. Apply acetone to the cement that is securing the laminate in place. As the acetone begins to soften the cement, use a paint scraper to remove the Formica laminate.
Gather all of the Formica laminate scraps once the entire counter top surface has been removed. The Formica website explains that laminate will only be removed in small sections, not the entire piece of material at once (see References). For this reason, laminate is ideal for recycling purposes.
Log on to the Internet and research local or regional recycling plants to determine where the Formica laminate scraps can be taken. The Formica website explains that the laminate will not decompose biologically, so it must be disposed of at a landfill or recycling plant.
Research recycling options and then act accordingly. The Formica website explains that the company has developed a cut-down program that reuses the scraps in order to create a product to replace drilling mud. The Middle East Recycling website explains that new advancements in recycling have allowed plastic materials to be liquefied and turned into diesel fuel (see References).
- The Formica website explains that Formica laminate is considered to be a non-hazardous material, but it does contain trace amounts of formaldehyde and phenol. As a result, protective clothing, gloves, and masks should always be worn when an individual is handling, cutting, or removing the laminate in order to avoid unnecessary exposure.
Shannon Johnson has been a freelance writer since 2008, specializing in health and organic and green-living topics. She practiced law for five years before moving on to work in higher education. She writes about what she lives on a daily basis.