10 Example of Recyclable Materials

Although few consumer products will not be recycled, some are more cost-effective and easier to recycle. Some products are more important to recycle.

Here is the list of the top 10 example of recyclable materials. This will help you understand why they are so important for our environment and wallets.

What are the most recyclable materials?

First, there are some surprises that most people wouldn’t have considered.

  • Lead Acid Batteries : Most people associate recycling with materials like steel and plastic. Lead-acid batteries may not be on their top ten list. It is important to know that the industry claims that 99% of all lead-acid batteries had recycled.
  • Asphalt :  Concrete and steel claim the #1 spot in asphalt claims, but, like the batteries, asphalt probably had mentioned when it comes to recycled materials.

10 Example of Recyclable Materials

  1. Concrete
  2. Steel
  3. Aluminium
  4. Plastic (PET).
  5. Newspapers
  6. Cardboard corrugated
  7. Plastics (HDPE).
  8. Glass
  9. Mixed papers
  10. Used motor oil

Details about the List

1. Concrete

Trowel which is a tool used in construction fir concrete. Concrete is one out of the 10 Example of Recyclable Materials

Concrete is not a common material to recycled. Ask anyone about it. Concrete doesn’t deserve any respect. Concrete recycling is not something you hear much about due to the word “bulk” as well as its non-glamorous uses.

Here are some claims from the industry:

  • It had typically found in construction and demolition waste (CDW), accounting for approximately 25% of the solid waste stream. It is not as personal as the one we have with steel and plastics.
  • The King Of Bulk: More than 140 million tonnes (compared to steel’s 70 million) of concrete recycled each year.
  • Recycled concrete had most commonly used as fine aggregate for road base construction. Then, it had used to stabilize soil and create landscaping materials.

2. Steel

Steel rebars use inbuilding construction. Steel is one out of the 10 Example of Recyclable Materials

Steel is the king of steel. According to current estimates (2018), 88% of all steel had recycled. It will have recycled 100% and repeatedly reused without quality loss. It is also the most recyclable material per ton in the world.

These are just a few more tips on steel.

  • Every year, 70 million tonnes of domestic scrap steel had used in the production process of new steel.
  • 90% of the steelmaking by-products (slag water, gasses, dust and energy) will reused or recycled.
  • Recycled scrap steel uses 75% less energy to make than virgin steel.

There are many uses for recycled steel. According to one estimate, two out of three tonnes of steel made of recycled material. This means that 2/3 of all new steel-containing products, such as cars, appliances, tin cans etc., had made from recycled material.

3. Aluminum

Aluminum used in products likes cans, beer cans,  utensils, foils etc. Aluminum is one out of the 10 Example of Recyclable Materials

Aluminium is a ferrous metal (non-magnetic) and will have recycled similarly to steel. It will then hammered, ripped up, separated, shredded, taken to a mini-mill to be melted into ingots, and then sent to the Big Furnaces.

Aluminium is second in recycling percentages to steel, but aluminium has a personal connection to individual collection and recycling. Steel’s primary industrial-scale recyclers.

Here’s how aluminium fits in the picture.

  • It has a 67% rate of recycling.
  • It is the most valuable material for home recycling.
  • Recycled aluminium can save 95% on energy and resources that are required to make virgin aluminium
  • You can make 20 ingots from recycled aluminium with the same energy as it takes to make one ingot of aluminium ore.
  • North America recycles 5,000,000 tons each year.
  • 75% of the aluminium produced in North America today is still in use (through recycling).

4. PET: Plastic is a minor

PET is a clear and lightweight plastic that is used for soft drinks, juices and water.

You can almost think of clear plastic water bottles and other beverage containers. This category includes 95% of the clear plastic PET (polyethene terephthalate). The remaining 5% was made up of clear plastic cups and packaging such as those used on retail products.

Plastic recycling is not as popular as other major materials, but it is still successful.

These facts demonstrate how much we can do as plastics users, considering that PET plastics can take 500 years to decay in landfills.

  • According to the plastics industry, PET plastics are recyclable at 29.9%. 
  • Only 9% of the PET plastics in municipal waste streams (garbage and recycling) will reused. The remaining 75% will sent to landfills, while 15% of PET plastics will combusted for electricity generation.
  • North Americans dispose of approximately 35 billion plastic bottles each year.

5. Newspapers

Newspaper provides a useful source of information

Newspaper recycling is all about trees as a recycled material. It is not only a heavy item that had thrown away, but it also has the fastest decomposition rate. It isn’t a danger to the environment, aside from filling our landfills with bulky items, which is a problem, except for trees.

Newspapers (newsprint) are different from other recyclable papers. It untreated and therefore is not contaminated.

  • Newspapers recycle 67%
  • Americans use approximately 680 pounds of paper each year, or 85 million tons of paper.
  • A single Sunday New York Times run will recycled to save 75,000 trees.
  • In the United States, 10 million tons of newsprint had thrown away every year.
  • Recycled newspaper/newsprint is up to 60% cheaper than virgin newsprint.

6. Corrugated Cardboard

Corrugated Cardboard is used in many packaging like laptops and packaging food products.

Corrugated cardboard is a category of recycled materials. It has two components: an actual corrugated card (the industry calls OCC for old corrugated paper) and a paperboard.

OCC comprises at least three layers: an inner and outer layer of paperboard and a sandwiched wavy layer that gives it strength.

You will see the paper board in shoe boxes and cereal boxes. You can also find thick support paper backing on retail product packaging.

Some OCC paperboard and cardboard will not recycled. It is not recyclable if it contains food grease (such as corrugated pizza boxes) or a coating (the wax coating on milk cartons).

  • OCC and paperboard have an average recycle rate of 67.5%
  • You can recycle cardboard up to seven times before it becomes unsuitable for use again. More than 50% of cardboard boxes made up of recycled materials.
  • More than 90% of products shipped to the United States in corrugated boxes delivered each year. This totals over 400 billion square feet.
  • Around 41% of solid waste streams are cardboard and paper. This is almost half the waste that’s collected.
  • A grocery store can produce between 8 to 20 tons of cardboard waste each month.
  • Making one ton of virgin cards takes three tonnes of trees.

Recycled OCC will used for new corrugated boards up to 51 per cent and paperboard materials such as cereal boxes at 11.5 per cent.

Around 15% of the waste will used to make other daily items like paper towels, cat litter, and toilet paper. The rest will have used to generate energy (instead of fossil fuel) or thrown away as unusable.

7. Plastics (HDPE)

Plastics spoon were meant to be thrown away after one use.

HDPE plastic (High-Density polyethene) is a non-clear material, such as opaque milk jugs or shampoo bottles.

Another category of “coloured plastics” is another. High-Density Plastics covers almost any stiff or flexible plastic item, including straws, bottle caps, plastic spoons, Red Solo cups and rubber duckies.

HDPE Plastics Recycling Facts

It is lightweight and strong, making it the most popular type of plastic today. An HDPE milk jug can hold a gallon of milk and weighs in at 2 ounces.

  • HDPE plastic bottles are recyclable at a rate of 34.1%. This is equivalent to 310,000 tons annually. Its close relative, the plastic bag has a miserable 5.5% recycling rate.
  • Nearly 90% of the U.S. population have access to plastics recycling programs. Most of this done via municipal curbside pick up.

8. Glass

 Glass used for vessels, such as bowls, vases, bottles, jars and drinking glasses

Most North Americans can access glass recycling programs, mainly through curbside pick-up. However, glass recycling is not as popular as plastics.

Glass is 100% recyclable, so it will recycled indefinitely without losing quality or purity. However, bulk recycling isn’t as profitable as other materials. End-user manufacturers are also more selective about what they will accept.

Clear and coloured glass will often be mixed in bulk pick-up containers. However, the recycling facility does colour sort it.

Glass manufacturers may require a strict separation process to control the amount of coloured glass used in new glass recipes. However, others (those who make generic green or brown glasses) will accept bulk glass scrap.

Recycled glass facts

  • Glass has a 34% recycling rate for states without a deposit and a 63% recycle rate for states with a deposit (typically 5 cents per glass bottle).
  • A majority of the glass containers that had reclaimed are used to make new bottles. The remainder of the glass containers had used for “secondary” purposes, such as sandblasting concrete payment, tile and filtration.
  • Reuse happens quickly. In as little as 30 working days, a glass container will recycled and placed on a shelf.
  • Other glass products, such as glassware, glassware, glassware, and glassware for cooking, baking, and windows, also considered contaminants.

9. Mixed Paper

Mixed Paper Recycling can help reduce waste disposal costs

Mixed paper is just that, a paper that’s not cardboard. This will have treated, coloured, thick or thin, shiny, dull or shiny, and it is a big category of recyclable materials.

Mixed paper (which doesn’t belong to the corrugated cardboard and newspaper) makes up the majority of municipal solid waste. The mixed paper makes up the majority of our garbage collection.

The misunderstood Lord portion is likely because it is one of the most valuable recyclable commodities.

  • Mixed paper is recyclable at 43.6%
  • Every year in the United States, 4.5 million tons worth of office paper had thrown away.
  • The recycled white paper produces 74% less pollution than virgin fibres, 35% less pollution and 75% less energy.
  • 66% of paper made from recycled mixed paper.
  • According to the EPA, recycling one ton of paper can save 17 forests, 7,000 gallons of water, and 463 gallons of oil.

10. Motor Oil

The main role of motor oil is to lubricate the engine parts

It is not the most popular , not glamorous and often confined to commercial areas, so there is no personal connection, and it can be messy.

If not properly disposed of, used oils, such as hydraulic fluids and engine lubrication oils, can pollute the environment.

Recycling used oil should give more attention. One gallon of oil refined to make 2.5 quarts, requiring 42 gallons.


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