First Newsletter - Where does my recycling go?
Below is the audio transcription:
Hi guys, my name is Nick. I am the co-owner of Good Earth Recycling, which is a curbside recycling service for Lubbock Texas residents, and today I was just going into the first newsletter—this is the video newsletter of that.
So what we do as a company is we go around and pick up people’s recycling curbside for them and what we’ve done is we’ve partnered up with Tech. And so what we do is we start the sorting process by removing the cardboard and the glass from your recyclables, and then from there, Texas Tech does the rest of the sorting, where they sort out all of the plastics and the metals and things like that. And all of the money that Tech receives from selling those recyclables goes back into student scholarships.
Okay, so a lot of people ask, “where does my recycling go once you guys pick it up?” And once it goes to a processing facility, it goes on a series of separators which sort it out, so paper and cardboard, for example, get sorted out by type and grade. From there it’s washed and cleaned and that removes all of the inks and films and the glue that may be on there. And from there, they kind of soak the paper until it becomes this mushy sludge, and that sludge is then put on a series of rolling conveyer belts that squeeze out all of the liquid until it is nice and flat again, and that becomes new paper and new cardboard from there.
Okay, and a lot of people ask about glass, so where does the glass go? Well the glass is separated by its color and from there it is crushed and then melted down, and then that is then turned into new products, like jars and bottles. And the great thing about recycling glass is that it can be recycled indefinitely, where as if it goes into the landfill, it is just going to go and sit for a really long time.
Okay, next we have aluminum, and aluminum is cleaned and then melted down, and once it is melted, it separates naturally from a lot of the inks that are on the can. And from there, the aluminum is molded into these big blocks and the blocks are then sold to soda companies and places like that. And the great thing about aluminum cans is that they can be recycled and back on the shelves in as little as six weeks, but that same can thrown in the landfill can take up to 500 years to biodegrade naturally.
Okay, next we have plastics! And plastics are sorted out by the number and the number can be found on the bottom of the plastic, whether it’s one, two…and they go all the way to seven. And those plastics are, once separated out, cleaned and grinded up to where the impurities are removed, and then those grinded bits are turned into little pellets, and those pellets go into forming new plastics. So that water bottle you throw away could become a brand new plastic chair. However, if plastics are not recycled, they usually go to the landfill and from there they just sort of sit and wait because bacteria can’t get to them. And a lot of those chemicals that are in plastics, like BPA, end up soaking into the ground, through a process called leachate.
So, recycling is pretty easy, all you have to do is just throw it in the correct bin. We’ll take it from there and make sure it gets processed.
So thank you guys all for recycling. We hope that you found this video informative, if you have happened to miss the newsletter, and see you guys soon!