What’s a Recycling Plant?

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Recycling facilities process materials for recycling, sorting and cleaning them before using methods like smelting, shredding, and pulping to prepare them for reuse. Some facilities specialize in certain types of recyclables, and excess materials may be sent to other factories or even landfilled. Consumers should contact their local facility to find out how they handle unprocessable materials.

A recycling facility is a facility that processes materials for recycling. Recycling facilities can be connected to landfills to streamline the waste management process, or they can be standalone facilities. The goods handled in a recycling facility are quite varied, depending on the regional demand for specific materials and the capacity of the facility itself.
Recycling is a complex process, starting with a consumer dropping a recyclable item or container into a designated recycling bin. Once the item reaches a facility, it is unloaded onto a conveyor belt with numerous other items for sorting. Sorted goods are sorted by type, so that like can be recycled with like. After sorting, the goods are usually cleaned so that they are ready for the recycling process.

Smelting, shredding, and pulping are all used to get things ready for recycling. Glass tends to be chipped and then melted so that it can be made into new glassware, although some recycling facilities also offer bottle recovery, in which bottles are sterilized for reuse. Shredding is used to package plastic, metal and paper for processing, while pulping is used to convert paper products into a slurry that can be made back into paper.

Once items have been broken down at a recycling facility, they can be shipped to facilities that produce items from recycled goods. Demand for the supply of raw materials fluctuates, so sometimes a recycling facility ends up with a backlog of materials such as shredded plastic, and in some cases, the facility may be forced to landfill the excess material because it runs out of storage space.

Many recycling plants encounter recyclables that they cannot handle. These are packaged and shipped to factories that specialize in these items. Some facilities, for example, focus on electronic component recycling, using trained personnel to safely break down discarded electronic components so that their usable components can be recovered and reused. Other facilities may specialize in handling scrap metal or rare types of plastics.

For consumers who are really concerned about recycling, it’s a good idea to contact the recycling facility that collects recyclables locally, to find out what it does with materials it can’t process, along with excess recyclables that aren’t required. . Unprocessable materials may not always be shipped, especially if the facility cannot make a profit by shipping these items to facilities that can process them, and some recycling facilities may landfill unusable or excess material or ship it to another region of the world, where it could be dumped instead of recycled.

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