Today, recycling is the action of collecting and processing used materials and products into reusable materials. When you convert waste, craps, used, or old materials into new products and objects, what you have done is recycling.
Everyday recycling involves various home materials. For example, producing newsprint from used newspapers, new cans from old beverage containers, and other glass bottles from old glass bottles are all recycling actions. The old materials that get used in making the new products are then called the recyclables.
Recyclables are found almost everywhere you turn to. You can put them at curbside on a scheduled basis, such as once a week, or take them to a buy-back or drop-off center. If you are a business owner, you may adopt recycling programs where your janitor collects used papers or other recyclable materials and places them in different recycling containers at your office’s loading dock.
Various states have adopted a beverage container deposit program to ensure that many recyclables reach recycling centers. With this program, you must return your beverage container to regain the deposit you paid when you purchased the beverage.
So far, eleven states have adopted this program. They include; California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Vermont. If your state is not present, you can push for it through your local representative.
In many instances, the collected recyclables are not just put into the machine to form a new product. They must be separated and cleaned.
To do this, many Material Recovery Facilities [MRF] have different equipment that can separate and sort different types of recyclables and transform them into materials for producers and manufacturers. This way, many MRFs can adequately process several grades of papers, steel cans, aluminum cans, glass bottles, and plastic containers.
Also, recyclers divert organic wastes such as yard waste and food waste from general waste disposal. Many of these materials become useful for making composts for different plants. Yard wastes, for example, are used for curbside composts. Leaves and grass can also be placed into back yard piles for composting, and grass can be left on the lawn after mowing and “grass-cycled.”
Although food waste composting is still new, many programs in San Francisco, Seattle, and Toronto have started collecting food waste at the curbside and transporting them to composting facilities where the food waste gets turned into a compost product.
Lead-acid batteries have a very high recycling rate because recycling them is very convenient. When someone takes a dead or dying auto battery to a store to buy a replacement, the store usually asks if they want the old battery back. When people say no, the store keeps it and sells it.
Also, corrugated containers have a high recycling rate because they are a very prominent product in the American economy; they are useful for shipping products. They are also well-known because many large generators of corrugated boxes make money by selling the empty boxes to recycling markets. The addition of corrugated containers to many residential curbside programs has increased the recovery of these boxes.
As expected, Paper and paperboard products are the most recycled material, followed by yard waste.
Due to new staffing costs, buying vital recycling machines, and collection trucks, local solid waste management costs are usually high when a recycling program starts. However, the total cost of solid waste management goes down following the thorough integration of a recycling program into a local system.
However, most times, the total cost remains higher with recycling programs. On the good side, the markets for recyclables, especially paper products, have helped the economics of municipal recycling programs.