Step 1: Collection
In the first step of the recycling process, the recyclables materials are collected.
The methods of collection may vary from community to community.
After collection, the recyclables are then sent to a materials-recovery facility to be sorted and prepared into marketable commodities to be sold to processing companies.
Step 2: Processing
In the second step of the recycling process, the recyclables are processed. Once cleaned and sorted the recyclables are processed to retrieve the raw materials, and the raw materials are then used in manufacturing recycled-content products.
All recyclables need to be broken down, melted or liquefied into its basic elements, before it can be either made directly into new materials or mixed with virgin resources and made into new materials.
However, the method of processing materials varies. For example, recyclables like glass, aluminum cans and steel need to be melted into a liquid form and then remolded into new products. Recyclables such as glass, paper and certain plastic products may have to be crushed, or shredded, as part of the processing to extract the basic elements or raw materials (eg. fiber in paper) for use in making new products.
Step 3: Purchasing Recycled Products
The third step involves purchasing recycled products. This third step completes the recycling loop.
More and more of today’s products are being manufactured with total or partial recycled content.
Whether you are just an individual consumer, or are a part of a government or business organization, you have an important role in making recycling a success by “buying recycled”. As consumers demand more environmentally sound products, manufacturers will continue to meet that demand by producing high-quality recycled products.