Buy Recycled

There are four steps needed for recycling to be a success:

  1. COLLECT. People save aluminum, glass, paper, and other recyclables and put them at the curb or take them to a depot for collection.

  2. PROCESS. Processors sort and prepare the recyclable materials for sale.

  3. REMAKE. Manufacturers buy the materials to make new products and/or packaging.

  4. REUSE. Consumers buy the recycled-content products or items that come in packaging made of recycled materials.

How to buy recycled and "Close the Loop"

Step 1:

Consider recycled-content when deciding what to buy. Check the label.

- Does it have a recycling symbol?

RECYCLABLE
The clear chasing arrow symbol generally means the product has the potential to be recycled. This symbol does not necessarily mean the product has recycled content.

RECYCLED CONTENT
The dark chasing arrow symbol generally means the product is made from recycled material.

Does it say the product or packaging is "recyclable"?
Recyclable refers to products or packaging that can be used again to make new things. Of course, they can only be used again if you put the materials in your recycling bin and put it at the curb, or if you take them to a collection depot. Find out which recyclables are collected by Tulsa Recycles!

Does it say "post-consumer recycled content"?
Post-consumer materials come from items that have been used and discarded by people, then collected through recycling programs such as Tulsa Recycles! and sold to manufacturers. This term appears mainly on plastic and paper products. The goal is to buy products that are made and/or packaged with the highest percentage of recycled content.

Step 2:

Speak up! If you can't find the recycled-content products and packaging you want when you are shopping, tell the store manager you want to buy these products and you would like the store to stock them for you.

Step 3:

Write to manufacturers and encourage them to make and package products with post-consumer recycled content.

Step 4:

Encourage your friends, co-workers and others in the community to buy recycled products, such as office paper, shoes made from surgical gloves mixed with cardboard, and carpets, fleece jackets and T-shirts made from discarded pop bottles.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency keeps a list of recycled items that meet guidelines for purchase by federal agencies.

Why buy recycled?

Consumers who "close the loop" help the environment by:

  • Conserving resources. The cost of recycling is often lower than the cost of mining new ore for beverage cans or harvesting trees for paper.

  • Saving landfill space for waste that cannot be recycled.

  • Conserving energy. The steps in supplying recycled materials to industry (including collection, processing and transportation) typically use less energy than the steps in supplying virgin materials to industry (including extraction, refining, transportation and processing).

City Services
» Refuse and Recycling

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