from the moment my town picks it up, what happens to the soda can, glass bottle and stack of papers I’ve recycled?


from the moment my town picks it up, what happens to the soda can, glass bottle and stack of papers I’ve recycled?

In: Other

Cleaned, broken down to base material and remade into new products. Glass and aluminum would be melted, while paper probably shredded and soaked, pressed, and dried into new paper.

depends on your town. I live in a major city in Southern California and even though recycling is required for residents, about 15% of it ends up in a landfill.

It also depends on how contaminated the lot is. A lot of items are not recycled and are incinerated or sent directly to landfill because there are either unrecyclable items mixed in with the lots (like polystyrene) or they are simply too dirty. This is the case for a lot of plastic items.

It isn’t economical for a recycler to accept a load of plastic that is covered with food waste, for example. Pizza boxes are not recyclable because they’re soaked with grease.

Items which can be sold on are sold to middlemen who sell them to companies which process the material into usable material – usually by breaking them down at industrial scale. Those companies then sell the recycled material to manufacturers who process them into new products.

If you live near me it goes straight into the landfill. All of it, with the possible exception of clean aluminum.

In Poland they get mixed and stored at open dumps, then “accidentally” burned down to save the trash mafia (yes, this is a real thing and no, it’s not funny) money on actual recycling.

Is there a way to find out the recycling practices of the area you live in?

In the UK it gets taken and piled up massive stacks at ‘recycling centres’.

Then eventually it catches fire, somehow.

In Germany you pay 25 cents extra as ‘Pfand’ and return empty cans and bottles to the shop. Don’t know what exactly happens to the cans but bottles get recycled and about 1 out of 4 is made into a new bottle

Here is the best best ELI5 answer from my perspective (many other comments alluded to this).

It depends where you live! What can they recycle? A lot probably ends up in a landfill because it’s not easy to clean it up and recycle.

I advocate using compost materials when possible because these break down. And a few communities I’ve lived in promote compost instead of recycle.

Any sources for all those saying it is stored, burned or put in a landfill?