What Happens To My Recycling?
Our Recycling Facility located at 270 West Street in Trenton is considered a dual-stream system. This means residents use *two containers and separate recyclables into two categories: ‘Containers’ and ‘Fibres’. By sorting your recyclables by type, you can help to cut down on recycling waste and increase the amount of recoverable material that can be sourced out of your recyclables.
Recycling has been collected, now what?
The materials are put into separate piles and then loaded onto conveyor belts where it’s sorted by hand even further. Sorters separate the materials i.e. plastic from metal and paper from boxboard. Recyclable materials are then compacted into bails for shipping to manufacturers.
Some facilities offer Single Stream Recycling, which may sound easier, but it’s more labour intensive. Read this article that lays out the cons of Single Stream, and the benefits of Dual Stream.
Manufacturers purchase the materials to recycle them. As an example, plastic water bottles can be used to manufacture new bottles. Other items such as polar fleece, rope, brush bristles, car bumpers and household furnishings are manufactured from recycled water bottles.
But what about the other materials that are collected? Stewardship Ontario breaks it down for you. This interactive tool shows you what becomes of materials like aluminium, rigid plastics, corrugated boxboard and newspapers. Ontario is where the blue box program was created and is now a worldwide initiative. Read this document on the history of the blue box.
Imagine a world where we didn’t recycle?? All of these materials would end up in landfills and water sources. Recycling helps protect the environment. Recycling reduces the need for extracting, refining and processing raw materials all of which create air and water pollution. As recycling saves energy it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change. So please continue to reduce, reuse and recycle! Still not enough? Here are 15+ more reasons why recycling is awesome!
*Don’t have two containers? Check out our guide to recycling with one container.