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Recycling Plastics

Did you know that the Plastic Bottle Institute developed a material-identification code system for plastic bottle manufactures (#1-#7) in 1988?


Perhaps you’ve noticed these numbers in recycle symbols located on the bottom of your water bottles, detergent bottles, yogurt containers, etc…


The numbers identify the type of plastic that was used to make the product, and shows you which plastics can be recycled in most curbside recycling programs.


As shown in the picture below, #6 PS (Polystyrene) plastic, more commonly known as Styrofoam, is not included in the group of recyclable curbside plastics. Ironically, the properties of Styrofoam that make it a useful material – light weight, low cost, and durable, make it difficult to recycle.


Since nearly 95% of a Styrofoam container is air, the cost of transporting it to a recycling plant (given the relatively large volume of Styrofoam per unit of weight) makes it cost prohibitive for recycling.


The good news is, if you see numbers 1-5 or number 7 on your plastic bottles and grocery containers, that means the container is recyclable, and doesn’t need to take up space in your garbage can.


If you ever have questions about whether a material is accepted in single-stream recycling, feel free to send us a message or tweet.


Click here for a complete listing of acceptable materials in single-stream recycling.





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Friday, 14 August 2020

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Public sector investment in local recycling programs pays great dividends by creating private sector jobs. For every job collecting recyclables, there are 26 jobs in processing the materials and manufacturing them into new products.