Good recycling habits begin in the home. Sorting your recyclables from other waste is the first step. Once collected, your recycling will be shipped to the nearest materials recovery facility, where the items will be sorted and broken down. After being compacted into dense bails of recyclable materials, the material is ready to be sold to manufacturers. The manufacturers, in turn, can reconstitute the plastic, glass, or metal into new products. Repurposing these materials ensures that they do not go straight into a landfill, thereby minimizing waste and conserving resources.
By keeping non-recyclable items from your recycling bin, you are protecting the recycling facility’s machinery from damage and generally making less work for the materials recovery facility staff. Moreover, by following proper recycling procedure, you can ensure that others’ recyclables make it through the entire process and not landfills. A single contaminant can ruin an entire batch of recycling, so it is crucial to understand what does and does not belong in your recycling bin. Do your research to learn more about your local recycling system. There are a few key questions to keep in mind: does your local recycling facility operate a single-stream or dual-stream system? What materials are acceptable to recycle? Which are better placed in the garbage bin? With the answers to these basic inquiries, you will be better equipped to successfully recycle your waste materials.