All posts tagged plastics recycling chicago

Ideas for Successful Plastic Recycling in Your Workplace

Plastic Recycling Chicago

How to Begin a Successful Plastic Recycling Program

Plastic recycling in Chicago workplaces is more important than ever. Here are some helpful ideas to keep plastics out of landfills through a successful plastic recycling program.


Recycling Plastic Is Serious On Many Levels


With landfills hitting capacity and toxins from plastics seeping into our food and drinking water, recycling is the solution to ending up like Pixar’s Wall-E or worse. But in 2009 alone, over 13 million tons of plastic were used and disposed of, and only 7 percent of that 13 million was recycled. You can see how much recyclable waste your business generates with this recycling calculator.


This is a huge problem that needs to be addressed and we can start by recycling in the places where we use the most disposable plastic, in the workplace. Here are some ideas on how to successfully recycle in your workplace.


Get the Proper Receptacles

Get a designated receptacle for your plastic recycling in Chicago. Make sure that it’s clearly marked so employees don’t throw trash in it. Make sure you have a service, like CRI, to pick up your plastic.


Generate a Workplace Campaign

In order to let your colleagues in Chicago know that you’re making an effort to recycle, start a campaign. Put out flyers, send emails and create incentives to continue to recycle. Offer an office party to the group with the most recycled items or give a gift, like a recycled fleece or other recycled items.


Look for the PET or PETE Number

Those chasing arrows aren’t just recycling emblem, the number inside the emblem indicates the type of plastic used to make the bottle and therefore how recyclable it is. Water bottles are mostly made of Number 1 PET or polyethylene terephthalate, which is sometimes abbreviated as “PETE” as well Number 1 PET is generally a recyclable plastic, but because recycling centers vary in the types of plastic they can process, you should contact your local municipality to determine the plastics accepted for recycling in your area. Once you’ve found that out, place only bottles with those designated numbers in your recycling bins. Adding bottles with other numbers just adds to the workload of the recycling municipalities.


Clean and Flatten Your Bottles

First you need to rinse the bottles and remove the labels. Then place them in your recycling receptacle. Remove the lids. Use them for art projects or throw them away, because the lids are made of a different type of plastic and it can contaminate the recycling process. Flatten water bottles before adding them to the bin.


Buy or Bring Recyclable Items

Before you buy, always check the number on the bottom of the container to make sure your municipality can recycle it. If not, look for a recyclable alternative. The arrows on the bottom of the bottle don’t necessarily mean the item is recyclable. All plastic containers have the triangular, chasing arrow emblem, however the number indicates if the item can be recycled.


Use Refillable Bottles Instead of Plastic

The EPA encourages consumers encourages us to use or buy products that contribute to the solid waste problem. Relying on reusable items reduces toxic waste from production and disposal. It saves money for communities, businesses and consumers, as well. Stainless steel water bottles are a great alternative to disposable plastic containers. They are durable and lessen the problem of waste. But if you have to take a water bottle to work, please recycle.


Your Recycling Efforts Shouldn’t Stop Here


These ideas are just the beginning, research and find out more ways to successfully recycle not only plastic, but paper and metal as well. You’ll be keeping your workplace waste out of landfills and keep the cash generated by renewable resources in your community.


To learn more about starting a recycling program in your workplace, contact Combined Resources, Inc. at 855-782-8490. Learn more about our plastic recycling services, here.


CRI: Delivering Customized Solutions For Plastic Recycling In Chicago

Combined Resources Inc. consults with customers in the Chicago region on a comprehensive assortment of recycling needs. From paper to scrap metal and a wide range of everything in between, our industry experts help our partners minimize waste and maximize profits at their professional operations. From large industrial manufacturers, to startup service providers, Combined Resources can help create personalized recycling solutions that keep a firm focus on the operational bottom line.


What You Need To Know About Plastic Recycling In Chicago And Throughout The Region


When working with CRI, we will create a customized recycling strategy to help manage your needs for plastic recycling in Chicago. What’s the first step in our professional partnership? We consult with clients to help them really understand some of the specific nuances of the plastic recycling process.


Our team of recycling specialists can work with your staff to help them understand the different types of plastics that may be found throughout your facility. Most plastic items have the instantly recognizable “recycle triangle” on it somewhere. Within this triangle, you will find a number that helps identify what type of plastic the item is made from. The standard operating rule indicates that lower numbers (1 and 2) prove the easiest to recycle. Higher numbers (3 through 7) can be a little more difficult to process, but not impossible. At Combined Resources, we have experience managing virtually every type of container and plastics material. By working with your staff to be able to identify the various types of containers onsite, we can best create a customized plan of action moving forward based on your specific needs.


Meeting The Challenges Of Plastic Recycling In Chicago

CRI: Delivering Customized Solutions For Plastic Recycling In Chicago

Additionally, working with our team to identify various recycling numbers can help you implement a purchasing process moving forward. Many of our partners continuously purchase the same items simply because “that’s how it’s always been done.” However, once they’ve become informed on the different types of plastics in their facility, they often find viable alternatives to their harder items to repurpose. Incorporating different, easier to reuse materials into your operational cycle will not only help you save money, it can also help you reduce your company’s overall carbon footprint.


Other Important Factors For Plastic Recycling In Chicago


Unfortunately, plastic recycling in Chicago and throughout the region can oftentimes prove more challenging than repurposing other materials. Many of our clients don’t realize that plastics will break down during the recycling process. This breakdown means that this material has a very specific recyclable shelf life; it can only be recycled a set amount of times before it may eventually find its way into a landfill of some sort. Combined Resources can help you and your staff find ways to minimize your plastics dependency and still keep your business running at maximum capacity to ensure that you do your part for the environment and still keep your profit margins as protected as possible.


Want to hear more about CRI’s customized solutions for plastic recycling in Chicago? Contact us today for more information!


How Our Services Stand Out From Other Chicago Recycling Centers

How Our Services Stand Out From Other Chicago Recycling CentersAt Combined Resources, Inc., we understand that when it comes to finding Chicago recycling centers to help manage your corporate waste needs, you have always have options. That’s why we offer an unparalleled and comprehensive portfolio of recycling management capabilities. It’s our goal to ensure that CRI stands out from other Chicago recycling centers as the only choice to help manage your corporate needs.


Chicago Recycling Centers — Key Differentiators That Set CRI Apart


What makes Combined Resources, Inc. one of the region’s leading Chicago recycling centers? When working with us, you’ll enjoy an impressive range of features and benefits, such as:


Expert consultation services: At CRI, you’ll never have to worry about feeling like just a number; we understand that every business is its own unique entity and we treat it as such. Throughout our professional partnership, we will consult with your organization to outline exactly what you can expect from recycling, the many benefits that come from effectively managing your internal waste, and how to use our services to help streamline your corporate operations for optimal efficiency.


Unparalleled processing capabilities: Unlike other Chicago recycling centers that only offer a limited range of processing capabilities, Combined Resources, Inc. proudly offers our clients over 70 different grades of recyclable materials. The result? No matter what type of waste management needs you have, our team of experts can help.


Freight management capabilities: Worried that you’ll partner with a Chicago recycling center that can’t manage the bulk of your waste? Not with CRI. We provide a complete in-house fleet of transportation equipment and resources to ensure that we can handle even the biggest type of waste shipments for our partners.


Training on material grading for optimal recycling value: As part of our professional partnership, the team at CRI will work closely with your employees to train them on the how to recognize various types of recyclables. Our training can help guarantee that your staff knows how to maximize the value of your recycling materials.


Extensive network as part of our brokerage services: While many Chicago recycling centers offer various waste management services, few offer the superior broker capabilities that CRI does. We have a valued network of end users that we can quickly connect our partners with to ensure our clients receive fair market value on their recyclable materials from our list of trusted contacts.


Other Important Factors That Help Us Outshine The Competition


Beyond our unparalleled service capabilities, clients partnering with Combined Resources, Inc. also have the peace of mind that comes from knowing they are entrusting their business to an established and professional recycling center. For almost 30 years, we have worked hard to establish ourselves as a leading industry innovator with a strong customer service focus. Best of all, working with CRI means that you are teaming with a financially stable firm. Our 0% debt means that we are in the best position possible to optimize efforts for our clients.


Contact Combined Resources to hear for yourself why CRI is a leading recycling firm in Chicago.


Meeting The Challenges Of Plastic Recycling In Chicago

Meeting The Challenges Of Plastic Recycling In ChicagoThink nothing lasts forever? If you believe that’s true, you probably aren’t thinking about plastic. Many plastics, whether they are hard varieties used in consumer and office electronics or softer ones used in plastic water bottles and margarine tubs or plastic bags, do not decompose when they hit the landfill. Breaking, distorting, or ripping plastic items may reduce their function but not make them any more environmentally friendly. Some discards, such as bags, do considerable damage when they are disposed of improperly, often finding their way into oceans and strangling wildlife. Planning ahead for plastic recycling in Chicago and around the country is an important reality of modern life that calls for the expertise of the green waste disposal experts at CRI.


Plastics Are A Resource Hog


Aside from disposability issues, plastics production is a resource hog that consumes about 4% of world production of oil and gas in its ingredients and an equivalent amount in additional energy to manufacture. About half of all the material produced goes into disposable items such as packaging and disposable consumer items, 20 to 25% into long-term infrastructure items such as pipes, structural materials, wire coatings etc., and the remaining balance into more durable consumer applications, such as furniture, electronics, and vehicles. Not only does the material consume large quantities of resources, but it does not represent sustainable use since so much is intended for one-time or short-term use.


Problems Of Plastic Recycling In Chicago


Plastic recycling becomes complex because not all plastic is the same. In attempting to recycle it, all types of plastics can’t be mixed efficiently. There are seven identified types of plastic, based on the kinds of polymers that it contains, which bear a recycling symbol and number. Much plastic, such as that used for picnic ware and utensils distributed at fast food restaurants, is unmarked. Even though plastics reclaimers use infrared (NRI) technology to identify types of plastic, consumers often discard utensils without the thought of recycling.


Types Of Plastics


The seven types of plastics include the following:


  1. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET, PETE)
  • Characteristics: Clarity, strength, toughness, barrier to gas and moisture
  • Used for: Soft drink, water and salad dressing bottles; peanut butter and jam jars


  1. High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
  • Characteristics: Stiffness, strength, toughness, resistance to moisture, permeability to gas
  • Used for: Milk, juice and water bottles; trash and retail bags


  1. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Characteristics: Versatility, clarity, ease of blending, strength, toughness
  • Used for: Juice bottles; cling films; PVC piping


  1. Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
  • Characteristics: Ease of processing, strength, toughness, flexibility, ease of sealing, barrier to moisture
  • Used for: Frozen food bags; squeezable bottles, e.g. honey, mustard; cling films; flexible container lids


  1. Polypropylene (PP)                                           
  • Characteristics: Strength, toughness, resistance to heat, chemicals, grease and oil, versatile, barrier to moisture
  • Used for: Reusable microwaveable ware; kitchenware; yogurt containers; margarine tubs; microwaveable disposable take-away containers; disposable cups and plates


  1. Polystyrene (PS)
  • Characteristics: Versatility, clarity, easily formed
  • Used for: Egg cartons; packing peanuts; disposable cups, plates, trays and cutlery; disposable take-away containers


  1. Other (often Polycarbonate or ABS)
  • Characteristics: Dependent on polymers or combination of polymers
  • Used for: Beverage bottles; baby milk bottles; electronic casing


In the recycling process, plastic is separated by type, shredded and cleaned to remove impurities, and mixed with virgin plastic and reused in industry. Some types of plastics marked by number present challenges because they leach chemicals onto other items, and finding new approaches to plastic recycling is crucial. Currently over 86% is discarded in landfills, and efforts to recycle fall far behind those for newspaper, corrugated fiberboard, and other disposables.


What Is Your Plan For Plastic Recycling In Chicago?


Help change these dismal statistics with a plan for plastic recycling! Contact Chicago-based recycling company Combined Resources to help you design an eco-conscious waste management and plastic recycling plan for your company.

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