Step One: Collection
Your recycling hauler collects the material from your curbside using a separate truck from garbage and yard waste.
Step Two: Processing
The recycling truck transports the recyclables to a material recovery facility and unloads everything onto the floor. As the recyclables make their way through the MRF on a series of conveyer belts, workers and mechanical systems separate the material by type. The large piles of separated aluminum cans, plastic bottles, paper, and other materials go through a baler to become compact and transportable. The recycler then sends the bales to an end-user.
Step Three: Manufacturing
End users, or manufacturers, use the material as feedstock to make new products. Materials like aluminum and plastic are melted down under very high temperatures and reformed into new cans, bottles, and other products. Manufacturers recycle paper by mixing it with water to break it down into pulp that can be pressed into new sheets of paper.