Total Recycling System

Solid Waste Management Program fact sheet
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Ed Galbraith

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:

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.