Do you know where the recyclables go after they leave your home? They are transported to a recycling processing center where they are sorted and compressed into shippable and sellable units. Those units are then bought by manufacturers and used to make new products. Some of these products include:
- Carpet and backpacks made from plastic drinking bottles
- Egg cartons, sheetrock and even new newspaper from old newspapers
- Appliances and car parts from steel cans
To find out what other recyclables can be turned into, check out this cool website from the government of Maine: tinyurl.com/recyclablesbecome.
When the processing center goes to sell the recyclables the quality of the recyclables determines the price they get. The quality is affected by how pure the materials are. Here are some tips for making sure you send quality materials to the recycling center:
- Take the metal lids off jars and bottles. Often metal is sorted using magnets. If you remove the glass from the metal it is easier to sort.
- Remove and recycle the non greasy cardboard parts from pizza boxes. If cardboard has grease and food on it, it isn't recyclable but that doesn't mean that the non greasy parts can't be recycled. No reason to toss out the entire box when some of it can be saved for recycling.
- Remove the lids from soda bottles and throw the lids away. The lids from soda bottles aren't recyclable and they actually degrade the value of the plastic bottle.
- Always remember to wash out cans, bottles and jars. This will help immensely and only takes a few seconds.
Amanda's Animal Fact of the Week
Seahorses have no teeth and no stomach. Food passes through their digestive systems so quickly, they must eat almost constantly to stay alive.
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Amanda Wheeler is a Danville resident who has worked as an educator at the Cincinnati Zoo. She is currently pursuing her master's in zoology.