A lot easier is the Recycling of litter, especially if the litter consists of only a few materials, and most easy if the pieces of litter are made from single material. The concept requires special manufacturing, that takes care to use pure single material if possible.
Things made from single material
- Bottles from glass.
- Boxes from plastics (e.g. polyethylene).
- Tins from stainless steel.
- Insulating foam from melted regolith.
- Insulating foil, e.g. from polyethylene.
Things made from a material composition
The following things need more than one material, but the materials can be separated easily for recycling:
- Electric cable from metal and plastics (e.g. polyethylene).
- Insulating mat from mineral fibre and plastics casing (e.g. polyethylene).
- Laminated safety glass.
Economics of Recycling
As the colony grows in size and population, the economics of the colony starts. Using free market it is easy to determine whether it costs more to mine material or to recycle it. Recycling will probably be a lot cheaper than mining.
List of Materials
This list comprises recyclable materials, that are really needed by an autonomous colony:
- Steel for digging machines, pipes, buildings.
- Plastics for greenhouses, space suits.
- Glass for windows.
- Concrete for buildings.
- Silicon for solar panels.
- Mineral fibrous insulating material for insulation of buildings.