How to contribute to editing

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The edit screen, with the edit button highlighted

Recyclopaedia is still in the process of building enough content to be launched as a public resource. As a website built upon the Media Wiki platform, it is designed to be authored by the general public. This means that anyone can edit articles without an account, so long as they agree to the Terms of Use, and users who decide to create accounts can create new articles and discussions where they see fit. This article serves as a brief guide for people interested in helping contribute to the project.

How to contribute[edit]

Most articles on Recyclopaedia will have an edit button (pictured right) visible at the top of the page. If you press this button you should be taken to the editing page, where you can make changes to the contents of the article. All edits made to Recyclopaedia will be visible on the history page for that article. Contributing edits without an account will result in your IP address being visible in the edit history. If the article you would like to contribute to does not exist, you will first need to create an account, then navigate to the address of the page you intend to author. For example, if you want to create an article about fire extinguishers, you would write extinguishers in your address bar. As a registered user you will be given the option to "create this page", which will take you to the editing dialogue, where you will be able to begin drafting your article.

Discussing changes[edit]

If you are unsure of what to include in the article, but you feel that you have some relevant information, each article will have a discussion tab, to the left of the edit button. You can navigate here and either begin a dialogue about what you think could be in the article, or contribute to any discussion that has already taken place.


Most articles and discussions will be broken up into headings, denoted in the edit dialog by the use of the equals sign, such as the word =Reduce= in the example picture. These equal signs are an example of Wiki's markup language, which is used to create formating, and to provide links to references and other articles. Another common example of markup in editing is reference tags. Enclosing a link in between a <ref> and </ref> tag will result in a numbered reference being added to the article. For example, writing <ref></ref> will result in the following tag;[1], as well as a link to the Planet Ark site in a list of references at the bottom of the page. This page on Media Wiki provides an extensive list of the various codes that can be used in the markup language.

Links to external articles can be included by enclosing them in square brackets such as these: [link goes here]. Links to internal articles can be included with double square brackets, and the article name, for example, the code; [[Expanded Polystyrene]] would create a link such as this: Expanded Polystyrene.

Adding images[edit]

Expanded Polystyrene

Adding images to articles is achieved by finding or uploading the relevant images to Wikimedia Commons, a public library of images with free licenses. The markup for adding an image consists of a number of options described in more detail at Media Wiki's page on the subject. A common example of the markup you may use is: [[file:Styropian.JPG|left|thumb|upright=1|Expanded Polystyrene]] where the file name corresponds to the image found on Wikimedia Commons, left indicates the image will align to that side of the page, thumb renders the image in a small box that can be expanded, upright=1 indicates the size of the image box, and the final text is the image description.

What to contribute[edit]

Recyclopaedia is organised into three major categories of articles. Materials, Processes and Facilities, as well as important sub-categories of materials including Tools and Products. Any information you can think to provide that is relevant to a material that can be recycled, a process for recycling, or a place where recycling activities are conducted can be relevant to articles in these categories. If you know how something is done, make an edit to describe that. If you have some ideas about something else, consider writing about it on the discussion tab for that article. If the article does not exist yet, feel free to create it, and start the draft for that article.

Self-publishing recycling experiments[edit]

As there is likely to be a substantial cross over among the people who contribute to articles on Recyclopaedia, and people who are engaged in recycling activities, self-publishing is encouraged on this site. Contributors should feel free to describe activities that they are conducting in the relevant articles, to invite comment from others, and to reduce duplication of experimentation. These contributions could be made on articles describing processes for materials, or on the articles for the materials themselves. Or you could choose to write an article dedicated to the place that you are conducting these activities, such as in the case of the Recycling research at home.

Recyclopaedia is not Wikipedia[edit]

The intention of this site is to encourage the listing of processes and behaviours that can help reduce waste. As such, contents provided in articles should be kept relevant to these topics. Material does not have to strictly be about recycling, and good, succinct general descriptions of materials are necessary so that people understand what makes them distinctive. But, detailed information that does not fit these requirements should be left to the editors of Wikipedia. In fact, if you know something about one of these topics, and it is omitted in the Wikipedia article, you should consider contributing to that project as well. The following are links to two examples of articles on either site, about the same material: Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene on Recyclopaedia ... Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene on Wikipedia.

Source material[edit]

The easiest material to add to Recyclopaedia is new sources of information. Many projects built upon Wikis act as an index for existing sources of information, by providing articles with text that summarises the information available throughout the internet. Editors may add unsourced information to this project, however, they may also be unaware of information you have read or seen somewhere else. So if you see content relevant to recycling, add a link to it here. Find the relevant article, and either add an =External Links= list at the bottom of that article, or add the link to the discussion tab along with a summary of the information found there. For example the discussion page for Takeaway coffee cups has a link with a short summary of why it's there.

Example articles[edit]

The following is a list of articles in various stages of completion that may serve as useful examples of what sort of information to contribute to the project.

Description Example
Material class Hard Plastic
Material Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
Sub Material Expanded Polystyrene
Recycling Tool Precious Plastics Shredders
End Product Coffee Fire Logs
Super Process Australia's domestic recycling system
Process Mealworms and Expanded Polystyrene
Facility - Domestic Recycling research at home
Facility - Collection point Stonnington E-waste drop off points

Page Categories[edit]

As described above, most pages on Recyclopaedia will be arranged into categories, along with similar pages, for ease of navigation and organisation. When created or editing a page, that you think is relevant to a particular category, add the following markup to the bottom of the article to categorise it: [[category:Your Category Here]]. A potential future use of categories is for people to discover lists of products that can be made from various materials. With this in mind; when posting a tool or a product, include all the materials that are utilised in it's creation. For example; the article about the Precious Plastics Brick includes Hard Plastic, High-density Polyethylene and Polypropelene. This is because this product has been made out of those materials, and users who are trying to find a use for these plastics, or a suitable material to make the product may be able to discover this link through proper categorisation.