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The 3 essentials of recycling

You can make recycling work! The recycling process has three essential parts. You are directly responsible for two of them.

1. Collection — Put No. 1 and No. 2 narrow-necked plastic bottles, aluminum cans, steel and tin cans, newspapers, magazines, discarded mail, paperboard boxes (cereal, cake, rice, cracker, etc.), office paper and school paper into your blue recycling bin for Wednesday pickup. Allied Waste takes them to The Recyclery in Huntsville, where they are separated and baled.

2. Manufacturing — There must be a market for the recyclables — companies that remanufacture them into consumer products. These companies invest significant money into adapting their processes. They are investors in the environment and employ many workers. These companies conserve virgin raw materials such as mineral deposits and fossil fuels. Energy use, air pollution and water pollution are reduced sometimes by as much as 95 percent.

3. Buying products with recycled content — If people buy recycled products, companies will make them and the whole system will work. When you purchase groceries or plastics, look for containers labeled as made with recycled materials or made with a percentage of post-consumer recycled content.

These three components make up the three “chasing arrows” of the recycling logo. Each facet is vital. Make recycling materials and reducing waste a priority at your home — you can make a difference.

Sources: America
Recycles Day/National Recycling Coalition,
City of Decatur Recycling

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