Where Does Your Recycling Go?

Is recycling an ingrained habit in you? You probably put effort into sorting your recyclables like plastic and paper and follow the right recycling methods. 

Are you wondering what is recyclable? The slightest thought of your recyclable garbage ending at the landfill can create skepticism to recycle. Whether it is the waste from your residential households, schools, businesses, workplace, or the community at large, it is crucial to know where your recycling goes. Every step in recycling plays a vital role in keeping trash away from our already-overfilling landfills and incinerators. Below is how your recyclable material moves from the curbside cart to the final destination. 

1. Trash hauler collects your recyclables.

Once you decide to recycle, you take the responsibility of placing recyclable garbage in the recycling bin. Depending on the city you live in, the process of recycling can be single stream or dual recycling. A single-stream recycling process is where you toss all the recycling material in one cart awaiting transportation to the material recovery facility. Dual recycling is the recycling process where you separate the material from the source before pick up by the trash hauler. Whether you use the municipal trash services or hire a trash hauling company during the trash collection day, the hauler will pick up the garbage and transport it to the transfer stations. The transfer station handles compacting. Then larger trucks haul the waste to the material recovery facility. 

2. Sorting stage.

At the material recovery facility (MRF), sorting of the recyclables takes place to separate good from contaminated recyclable material. The garbage from single-stream recycling will go through a manual and automatic machine separation process. Once the truck unloads the mixed recyclable trash into the conveyor belt, the workers will use the manual process of handpicking non-recyclable material from the garbage and safely dispose of it. The next stage is where the automatic machine separates cardboard and paper from the trash.

As the junk moves along in the conveyor belt, a magnetic force will pick out aluminum and steel. An eddy current in the conveyor belt will pick out aluminum cans, while a density blower will move plastics into a different machine. The remaining material, which is glass, will move to a new conveyor machine, which will turn it into cullet. And since plastics products have different resins, the conveyor belt has optic lasers to separate various plastics in the recyclable material. 

Once the sorting is done, your recycling material is ready for the next stage, which is processing. 

Where does your recycling go?

3. Processing the recycling.

At this stage, the recyclable material is in perfect condition to be processed into raw material. The facility will break down the items that you place in the curbside bin into raw materials. 

The processing facility can use additives to improve the quality of the raw material. They will then sell the raw materials to the manufacturer to produce new products of good quality. Raw material from plastic waste, for example, can be used to manufacture plastic chairs, carpets, trash bins, and other plastic products.  Processed steel and aluminum raw material create new steel and aluminum cans.

Remember, the same process applies to C&D debris disposal where you can recycle material to produce new products from the waste. 

4. Consumers buy recycled products.

The final stage of your recycling is when the manufacturer releases the products into the market for consumers. When you buy these recycled products, you promote recycling because of the demand.

At TKG Services, we are the pros in C&D recycled materials and ensure that we repurpose over 75% of construction and demolition garbage into new products.