There are four steps needed for recycling to be a success:
COLLECT. People save aluminum, glass, paper,
and other recyclables and put them at the curb or take them to a
depot for collection.
PROCESS. Processors sort and prepare the
recyclable materials for sale.
REMAKE. Manufacturers buy the materials to make
new products and/or packaging.
REUSE. Consumers buy the recycled-content
products or items that come in packaging made of recycled
How to buy recycled and "Close the Loop"
Consider recycled-content when deciding what to buy. Check the
- Does it have a recycling symbol?
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.
The dark chasing arrow symbol generally means the product is made
from recycled material.
Does it say the product or packaging is
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
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.
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.
Write to manufacturers and encourage them to make and package
products with post-consumer recycled content.
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
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
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).