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What REALLY Happens to Your Recycling?

A Look Behind the (Recycling) Curtain


Recycling Road Map

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re an above-average recycler who feels good about doing your part to reduce trash and use of natural resources.  As you should!  That said, after our recent Ask Me Anything about Recycling in MA webinars for Reduce, Reuse, Recycle-Palooza, we realized a sizable part of our audience still wonder what REALLY happens to their recycling.  We have news: we can answer that!

New Page Alert 🚨

Recycle Smart MA just launched the Recycling Road Map, a new, interactive webpage that goes behind the curtain to explain the recycling life cycle. Because after our recycling leaves the curb, how many of us really understand the next steps in the journey? From sorting recyclables and producing marketable commodities, to creating a “new” feedstock for manufacturing goods and returning those items to retailers, this webpage explains it all.

Fun fact: Recycling is a vital part of a manufacturing supply chain that supports over 680,000 jobs and generates more than $37 billion in tax revenue each year!

At our new page, you’ll find answers to questions like these and more:

  • How does that jumble of cans, bottles, and paper in the recycling truck get separated?
  • Does anyone really want the materials I put in my recycle bin?
  • What do old milk and detergent bottles become in their next life?
  • Does my community send recycling to a MRF? What IS a MRF?

What you’ll find on the Recycling Road Map webpage is just the beginning. We encourage you to check out our FAQ page, the Recyclopedia, and our newsletter archive to find answers to many common questions.

In the coming months, we’d like to focus our content on questions you care about. Send us your burning recycling questions and help us make the Recycling Road Map even better!

📚 What We're Reading

We’re thankful for all you Smart Recyclers!
Happy Thanksgiving 🦃

The Recycle Smart MA Team at MassDEP

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