Questions Many Consumers Have About Recycling Services

Recycling and buying recycled materials are very good ways of making eco-friendly choices around the home, and as a consumer. If you would like to support recycling services more, consider a few questions you might have about the process.

1. What is meant by post-consumer waste?

Pre-consumer waste is waste that is generated from production processes before items ever reach the consumer. This might include scrap metal created during metal fabrication processes, tin cans that have defects and which cannot be used, and the like. Post-consumer waste includes materials that did reach the consumer and which are now being reused, such as newspapers, recycled clothing items, recycled soda cans, and so on. Both pre-consumer and post-consumer waste are good to use in products, as this means less material that winds up in landfills, but post-consumer material may be more difficult to collect as it relies on consumers to have those items collected for recycling.

2. Why is it important to separate metal items for recycling? Aren't they all the same?

Those metals used for soda cans and soup cans may feel alike to you, but they're actually very different. One might be made of aluminum and one of tin, one might have some steel added to it for strength, and so on. Each type of metal needs a different form of recycling, and often they cannot be mixed in with different new materials; tin needs to stay with tin, aluminum with aluminum, and so on. This is why even metal items need to be separated before they can be recycled, and why your city or a recycling center may require you to do this with your recyclables.

3. Why worry about recycling natural materials?

A common question consumers have is why it's important to worry about recycling natural materials, since they won't cause pollution when they break down in landfills. However, keep in mind that when you recycle your cans, paper, and other such items, you are not only keeping those items out of landfills but you are also cutting down on the virgin materials that need to be harvested to make new containers, newspapers, and the like. The more paper you recycle, the fewer trees that need to be cut down to make new paper. The more cans you recycle, the less iron ore that needs to be harvested to make steel. This also means less pollution created in manufacturing plants that make these materials for containers, paper, and other such materials.

For more information, contact a recycling center in your area.