What Do I Need to Know About Recycling?

The three recycling arrows is the universal symbol of recycling and printed on millions of products that can be recycled or have been made from recycled content. Each arrow in the recycling logo represents one step in the three-step process that completes the recycling loop. Step #1 is collection. This is when you put your recyclable materials into your curbside recycling bin. The collected materials are then processed and sold to manufacturing facilities such as steel, paper, and glass mills. Step #2 is the manufacturing process; the recyclable materials are converted into new products and shipped to stores across the country to be placed on shelves as new consumer goods, for example: Paper and cardboard are turned into cereal and cracker boxes, book covers, and game boards at a recycling paper mill in Fitchburg, MA. Glass bottles and jars are melted and used to make new containers in facilities such as St. Gobain Containers in Milford, MA. Milk jugs, detergent bottles, and other #2 plastics become landscaping timbers and whiskey barrel planters made by Smartware Products in Leominster, MA. Be careful! The 3-arrow recycle symbol can be misleading. It’s not a recycling stamp, even though the graphic is clearly slated towards recycling. It’s a "resin recycling code", which tells you what kind of plastic you’ve got. The recycling symbol does not necessarily mean that a product is made with recycled content or that it can be recycled in the City’s curbside collection program. Many plastic products are coded with a recycling symbol, indicating that somewhere they may be recyclable, but not necessarily accepted in Gloucester’s curbside program, for example: Codes 1 and 2 (milk bottles and soda bottles) are easily recycled. The other codes usually aren’t. Styrofoam (technically, "expanded polystyrene foam"); is code 6. You can’t recycle it in the sense of reducing it to constituent parts and making something new out of it (the way you can with codes 1 and 2) therefore even though it is stamped #6 it is not accepted in Gloucester’s curbside program . Step #3 of the Recycling Process is where you, the consumer, purchase products made with recycled content. “Buy Recycled” Myths: Here are four common myths and misconceptions about recycled products: Myth #1: "Recycled products are hard to find" This used to be true, but no longer. From the neighborhood grocery store to national retailers, stores sell thousands of products made from or packaged in recycled content material. Myth #2: "Recycled paper isn’t as good as non-recycled paper" Recycled content papers now share the same printing and performance characteristics and looks and acts the same as new paper. Recycled content paper has the same whiteness and brightness attributes as well. Recycled papers offers the same level of performance on copiers, and laser and ink jet printers. Myth #3: "Recycled products cost more". This used to be the case for some materials, but no longer. Many recycled products are priced competitively with their non-recycled counterparts and in fact, may cost less. Myth #4: "Recycled products are inferior in quality" This is simply not true. Recycled products have the same quality, reliability, and dependability. Surveys by the ’Buy Recycled Business Alliance’ asked hundreds of corporate purchasing agents about their satisfaction with recycled content products; 97% of respondents were pleased with the performance of recycled content products. When you “Buy Recycled” you complete the recycling loop!

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1. Where Can I Recycle Automotive-Related Items?
2. Where Can I Recycle Batteries?
3. Where Can I Recycle Clothes and Shoes?
4. Where Can I Recycle Electronics and Related Items?
5. Where Can I Recycle Lightbulbs?
6. Where Can I Recycle Furniture?
7. Where Can I Recycle Glass?
8. Where Can I Recycle Mercury?
9. Where Can I Recycle Metal?
10. How Do I Know What's Recyclable and Where to Look?
11. Recycling is Mandatory in Gloucester, But How Do I Know What to Do With My Items?
12. Is There A Database of Unique & Unusual Recycling Materials and Locations?
13. Where Can I Recycle/Donate My Car/Vehicle?
14. Where Do I Dispose of Sharps Needles?
15. What Do I Need to Know About Recycling?
16. Where Can I Dispose Hazardous Residential Waste/Items?
17. Where Can I Recycle Christmas Trees, Wreaths, and Greens After the Holidays?