Recycling Process

What Materials Can Be Recycled?


Not sure what items around your house are suitable for recycling? This page will cover all materials that an informed layman and consumer should be aware of regarding most commonly known recyclable materials. We will also discuss some materials that are not widely known to be recyclable. There should be special attention given to materials that are poorly understood and/or hard to recycle.

What Materials Can Be Recycled / Paper

Most kinds of paper can be recycled.

recycled paper

Prices of virgin paper pulp have been increasing in recent years. As a result more plants capable of handling and reprocessing waste paper are being built.

-photo to the left is sensemaybenumbed.-

An important thing to note about the recycling process of paper is collecting large volumes of clean, uncontaminated, well sorted, and dry paper.

Paper products have to be labeled meaningfully so that consumers can be aware of what they are buying in a paper product.

The term “Recycled Paper” can be manufactured from 100 percent true recycled paper to paper containing just 1 percent remanufactured roll ends.
What Materials Can Be Recycled / Steel, Glass, Aluminum Cans, and Foil

These recyclables are often easy to recognize.

recycled steel firepitMost people don’t have any trouble sorting these materials properly. Glass, steel, copper,aluminum cans, and other metals are easily recognizable and quite easy to recycle.

The fire pit depicted at the left was made from recycled steel.

However, glass bottles must not be mixed with any other type of glass like light bulbs, Pyrex plates, glass tableware, auto glass, and window glass.

Ceramics contaminate glass and are very difficult to sort out. The most valuable glass waste is clear glass. Mixed color glass is almost worthless. Broken glass is also difficult to sort.

Aluminum cans are easily recycled and they have only to be cleaned a little bit to save water. Aluminum cans should be cleaned just enough to prevent odors and it is no longer necessary to remove labels for processing. The high heat used in glass and metal reprocessing is enough to take care of the problem of contamination.

What Materials Can Be Recycled / Plastic

recycled plastic grocery bagThe variety of plastics (plastic bottles, clamshell packaging,PET, etc.) that can be recycled is getting wider and with a certain amount of care much plastic waste can be recycled.

The major problem regarding plastics recycling is that different types of plastics must not be mixed for recycling yet it is virtually impossible to tell one type from another merely by looking at them or even by touching them.

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