Materials Reclamation

The materials reclamation and salvage processes of Fillimet rely on a combination of manual and magical techniques to sort, clean, and recommoditize as much waste as possible. The full success of these processes depend upon the resources of the reclamation plant in question, but each facility strives to reduce waste to the best of their capabilities and budgets.

Utility

Effective materials reclamation requires many steps to extract and salvage all usable components before safely disposing of the remaining materials. Larger facilities can perform all these functions on site. Smaller reclamation services typically focus on effective sorting, selling the results at a discount to larger facilities who can complete the remainder. When done properly the process yields useful and often valuable components and materials which can then be sold for additional profit.  

Sorting

Every reclamation process begins with sorting. Intact items with possible salvage value are set aside for appraisal, while the rest of the collected materials are pooled together for advanced processing.   The Artisanal Magics are especially useful here, particularly Metalmancy for removing metallic items and Threadmancy for isolating thread-based materials. Operations large enough to afford a mage with a natural talent in detecting magic via Metamagic will also put them to use here in locating any items with active Rune Magic, to be set aside for Salvage or decommissioning. These are meant to be left for special collection events, to keep them out of the, mixed collections for safety purposes, but sometimes magical items are found in the regular collection.   The metals and threads are set aside for further processing and recycling, or sold to a larger facility with the needed capabilities. The remaining unsorted materials, referred to as "semi-processed mix" within the industry, are prepped for reclamatory composting.  

Salvage

The items set aside for possible salvage during the sorting process are reviewed and analyzed for possible repairs and reuse. Items utilizing Rune Magic are flagged for review by a Rune Mage who will determine whether the runes themselves should be decommissioned, repaired, or salvaged. Items deemed salvageable in their current form are sold to individuals and organizations interested in performing the needed repairs, usually for profit. Those identified as beyond salvaging are returned to sorting for deconstruction and disposition.  

Recycling

The metal and thread materials acquired through sorting are further processed and recycled using increasingly refined means. The exact processes followed vary by organization.  
Metals
Some recycling plants work to separate the metals while still in solid form. The individuals performing these jobs possess some level of expertise in Metallurgy and most also possess skills in Metalmancy. Once sorted the metals are usually melted down and sold as their respective metal types.   Other sites prefer to melt all metals together and then use traditional metal refining processes to sort them into their pure forms. This requires a greater energy input, as well as an experienced Ore Augur to oversee the operations, but yields higher quality output metals due to the higher accuracy and lower chance of mistakes. As a result this remains the preferred process for larger operations who can afford the efforts.  
Textiles
The recycling process of textiles depends upon the funding level of the facility, as well as their access to Coactive Spinning. Most facilities do employ Waste Management Workers with training in Threadmancy, regardless of their processes or funding.   Smaller facilities will have individuals manually sort through the larger pieces of fiber in search of higher quality materials, which are separated and sold to better equipped reclamation facilities. The remaining threads are sorted by type, cleaned, shredded, and used to create shoddy wool or felt.   Larger facilities able to employ more skilled threadmancers will work to salvage the threads directly, beginning with the most valuable and intact materials. The direct application of Threadmancy allows this process a high degree of success although more manual methods are used when feasible to conserve Imperium. Any materials deemed too damaged or not valuable enough for salvage is shredded and reformed into shoddy wool or felt, or sent to a Rol'nara textile reclamation facility for processing.   The plane of Rol'na possesses the most robust textile reclamation processes due to their access to the jealously guarded Coactive Spinning technology. Originally invented for use with the silk from the Lacewing Butterfly the machines have since been improved and refined to allow for their use with a wide variety of damaged and difficult to work with fabrics and textiles. The threads are sorted, cleaned, and then added to the coactive spinning machines to be respun into threads or yarns, depending upon the machine settings used. For the Rol'nara, no textiles go to waste, and they frequently contract with other reclamation facilities to provide then with the same service.  

Composting

The semi-processed mix obtained from the initial sorting step is transferred to a dark, damp, insulated location and subjected to Arbormancy and specialty bacteria developed via Biomicrokinesis to kickstart the composting process. The mixtures are kept separate in batches and allowed to decompose, with periodic maintenance and progress checks where the conditions are monitored and adjustments made as necessary. Water and in larger operations Hydromancy are applied to maintain an acceptable dampness while the contents are periodically mixed, tossed and tumbled using Anemancy or manual mechanical methods.   After approximately one month each batch is sifted to remove the newly composted soil from any remaining refuse. The mix remaining after sifting is analyzed and either returned to the composting process for a second round or sent onward in the materials reclamation process to Energy Extraction.   The newly sifted soil is checked for contaminants and sold to Farmers and gardeners if none are present. If the soil has been contaminated it is first rinsed and cleaned with water and any other necessary alchemical mixtures and processes, and then made available to Infrastructure Engineers and others as filler soil. The water used in the cleaning process is then subjected to Water Purification for later use.  

Energy Extraction

Most remaining refuse after sorting and composting can be burned for energy. Pyromancy is sometimes used, although standard fire is equally effective in most cases. Sometimes these items are sold as cheap fuel for cooking and warmth, other times the waste management company will burn the refuse themselves and harness the resultant energy for their own operations. Lately they have also been used as fuel for steam engines.   A small number of items from the final waste mixture cannot be burnt either. These are disposed of as waste and no longer subjected to efforts to salvage or recycle them.
Inventor(s)
While countless inventors through the ages have discovered new materials reclamation techniques and improvements for existing methods, the learned mage Grungnat deserves a special mention for his unprecedented volume of contributions to the industry. In his role as co-founder of Grungnat's Garbage Disposal he not only developed an impressive number of new processes but also implemented major process improvements due to his vast knowledge of the Artisanal Magics and their interactions.   Originally closely guarded trade secrets, the techniques were made public in an effort to improve the company's image after The Refuse War and subsequent destruction of Grungnat's largest client, the city of Freeport. This knowledge revolutionized waste management overnight, resulting in highly efficient materials reclamation and salvage processes and greatly reducing the volume of trash throughout the Plane of Fillimet.
Access & Availability
While each waste and materials reclamation business has their own proprietary variations, the standard processes used are now public knowledge across Fillimet and Rol'na due to Bob's publication of the advanced methods developed by his partner Grungnat.
Complexity
Today's methods of materials reclamation are the results of centuries of efforts into experimentation and discovery, not just of the methods themselves but also the capabilities of the different magical technologies used. It is the application of combinations of magics which make possible today's advanced reclamation methods, each applied at ideal points throughout the process. The most efficient processes with the least amount of waste elevate recycling to an art form, a delicate dance of timing, precision, experience, and teamwork.   No single person can perform the entirety of the processes required on any sizeable waste input, a lesson Grungnat's Garbage Disposal was forced to confront in the disastrous Refuse War.


Cover image: Nature Forest Trees by jplenio

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Comments

Author's Notes

Special thanks to Amy Winters-Voss for sharing her experience with textile crafts for inspiration.


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15 Jan, 2021 22:00

This is so fascinating - I love all the different technologies that are used for this. Really great article!!   I'm now really intrigued how waste-water and sewage is handled in Fillimet now, though! XD You make this stuff so interesting! :D

15 Jan, 2021 23:06

I do have a stub for Water Reclamation. :x   I am so glad you enjoy these articles!

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
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