Total Recycling System
|Solid Waste Management Program fact sheet||
|Division of Environmental Quality Acting Director: Steve Feeler||
Missourians have proven their strong support for recycling. One of the most direct ways that citizens participate in recycling is by collecting newspapers, aluminum, glass, plastic and other materials for industry to make into new consumer products.
When you hear the word recycling, what comes to mind? We often think of collecting used materials, but this is only a part of the total recycling system.
A total recycling system includes:
- Purchasing for recycling - Buying products which, after they are used, will be collected by a local collection program to meet a market demand for recycling of the material. These products may be made from recovered materials.
- Collecting for recycling - Includes drop-off collection centers, curbside collection program and used material exchanges for “source separated” items that have never been part of mixed solid waste. Another possibility is the collection of mixed solid waste for the purpose of pulling out recovered materials.
- Processing for recycling -
The preparation of recovered materials to meet a specific buyer’s requirements. The recovered material is cleaned and contaminants are eliminated. Materials may be crushed, shredded,
baled or otherwise processed for storage or transportation to a buyer.
- Manufacturing for recycling - This is the use of recovered materials by a manufacturer to produce a new product.
- Selling for recycling - Advertising and selling a product by promoting the product’s recycled material content.
Support for recycling involves support for all five parts of the total recycling system. As new collection programs for recycling are developed, it is important to assure that new uses for the recovered materials are available. Current and future recycling collection programs will benefit from more local industries that want to use recovered materials and more consumers who ask for products made of recycled materials.
If these industries can be encouraged as part of local economic development initiatives that are appropriate for the area, we gain the bonus of creating new local jobs and we create a stronger, expanded total recycling system. To encourage more local recycling, the public and private sectors need to plan together for recovered material collection, processing, manufacturing into new products and sale. These five steps should come to mind when we use the word recycling.