Chicago may require businesses and commercial establishments to recycle certain items, but did you know there’s so much more you can recycle? Today’s recycling services in Chicago will accept much more than the standard paper and aluminum cans. Here’s a look at 10 items recycling services in Chicago will accept and what they can be used for.
Top 10 Recyclable Items And Where They Go
- Aluminum. Once cleaned and processed, aluminum cans are typically melted down into solid metal blocks and used to manufacture new cans. Aluminum is one of those items that is a complete circle of recycling with the same material being used over and over again to make the same products.
- PET/PETE Bottles. PET/PETE bottles are identified with the recyclable number 1. PET/PETE plastics recycle well. The plastics can be reprocessed into flakes, which are then used to make many new things from new bottles to carpeting, clothing and even some types of insulation.
- Newspaper. Recycled newspaper is mostly used to make new newspaper, but it is also used to make cereal boxes, egg cartons, grocery bags, tissue paper, and more.
- Corrugated Cardboard. Corrugated cardboard has an over 90% recycle rate, according to the USEPA. Most of that comes from commercial locations, which means businesses are taking the lead in recycling this material. Recycled cardboard is used mostly to make new shipping boxes and paperboard products.
- Steel Cans. Unlike paper, which can only be recycled 5-7 times before the fibers give out, metal is infinitely recyclable. Steel is considered the world’s most recycled material and all steel sold today has been recycled at some point. Your steel can could have been a bridge, a refrigerator, or even a roof in its past life.
- HDPE Plastic Bottles. HDPE stands for “High density polyethylene” and is identified by the #2 on plastics. It’s used to contain cleaning and personal care products. HDPE is highly recyclable and can be turned into garbage bags, bins, and even plastic lumber.
- Glass Containers. Glass is another item that can be endlessly recycled without losing quality, but not all glass is the same. Glass containers are made up of different materials than glass windows and cannot be comingled. Glass containers are typically recycled back into more glass containers and fiberglass.
- Magazines. Magazines can be recycled and you don’t even have to remove bindings or staples from them before you toss them in the bin. They are not recycled into new magazines, however. Most end up as paperboard, stationary, printer paper, or newspaper.
- Mixed Paper. More than 5,000 products can be made using recycled paper. This includes masking tape, coffee filters, paper money, lampshades, egg cartons and much more.
- Electronics. Electronics like cell phones and computers are recycled for the materials they contain. Precious metals can be extracted and reused, saving companies from having to source raw materials. Steel, aluminum, and plastics can be recycled and turned into many new products. Even the batteries can be recycled.
Recycling Services In Chicago Help Make Old Products New Again
What’s old is made new again with recycling services in Chicago from Combined Resources Inc. As technology advances, more and more companies and consumers see the economic benefits of recycling and buying recycled products. And more and more waste products end up in the recycling bin. This is good news for businesses, consumers, and the planet.
To learn more about reducing your waste stream or our recycling services in Chicago, contact us today.