Around thirty-two percent of materials in the United States are recycled. But, how does the process of recycling actually work? 

We’ve got all the facts that you need to understand how recycling works.

The Basics of Recycling

The outline of the recycling process is pretty simple. A truck from your state or municipality comes to your home and picks up your recyclables, and brings them to a recycling facility.

Depending on what you’re recycling, you may have to call in advance to get someone to pick up a specific good, or you may have to drop it off at a designated facility. 

Then, the recyclables are sorted. Different manufacturers in different industries will then purchase these assorted recyclable goods. These goods are then sent to facilities where they can process different items properly.

Eventually, recycled materials will be properly processed and made into new materials for our everyday consumption. 

Some products that are commonly made from recycled materials are some types of soap, kitty litter, construction paper, parts for cars, tennis balls, paper towels, household appliances, carpeting, backpacks, egg cartons, and many other products.

The Specifics of Recycling

Contrary to popular belief, recycled products usually aren’t made into the same type of item they were before. Recycled water bottles usually aren’t made into new water bottles, for example.  

Many different items can be recycled, not just basic plastic or glass. Some items that can be recycled include:

  • Most types of batteries
  • Televisions, computers, or other electronics
  • Aluminum cans
  • CDs, DVDs, and other media storage
  • Eyeglasses and other medical devices
  • Used motor oil
  • Car tires

However, some places don’t have the ability to recycle some items. Check out what to recycle in your area to find out what you have access to.

Setting Up Recycling At Work or Home

Creating a recycling system at your home and workplace is a good way to contribute to the fight for a more sustainable planet.

To institute a recycling system at your home or office, it’s easier than you think to get started. Start by setting out different, clearly labeled bins that you can sort different recyclable products into.

Write out instructions so that people will know how to properly recycle the different products. For example, bottles and cans should always be emptied and washed out thoroughly.

You can also go through and make sure that everyone in your household or office knows what can and cannot be recycled. Plastic bags, for one, are almost never a recyclable product.

If you’d like to take it one step further, you can also create a compost bin for even more sustainability.

Now You Know How Recycling Works

Hopefully, you know understand how recycling works in practice, and why it is important. So, you can get started creating your own ecofriendly office or home.

Need more information about recycling and fighting climate change? Check out some of the other articles on this website for more.