you ever wondered where your recyclables go when they leave the curb?
What happens after the recycling workers dump them into the truck and
Believe it not, the materials go through an amazing sorting process and then become 'new products.'
the materials are transported to a processing center for sorting before
being shipped to places where they are manufactured into "new products."
Then the recyclables are dumped on the floor at Grayslake Processing Center.
There are various methods for separating cardboard, paper, bottles and cans.
At Grayslake Processing Center, the materials are loaded onto conveyor belts. A special screen removes the cardboard.
is separated from the containers by screens called news screen and then
manually sorted by workers into various types of paper, such as
newspaper and office paper.
Special machines are used to sort the different containers.
A magnet removes the steel cans. An "eddie current," which is actually a reverse magnet, separates the aluminum cans.
Glass is separated out in a machine called a trommel.
Plastics are sorted optically.
the recyclables are separated, they are baled. As an example, a bale of
aluminum cans will weigh about 1,000 pounds and contain more than
These bales are shipped to companies throughout the world where the materials are made into new products.
Plastic bottles can be made into synthetic fibers that become eco-fleece jackets. Aluminums are made into new aluminum cans.
these products are shipped to stores where customers purchase them.
Aluminum cans are back in the stores in six weeks. Thus, the materials
have completed the recycling loop.
Check out the many recycled products available: www.swalco.com (Recycled Product Guide).
Call the Lou Marchi Total Recycling Institute for a list of local stores that carry recycled products.
For a closer look at what happens at a Processing Center, check out the following Web site: www.mchenry.k12.il.us/educycle.htm.
Find out where your recyclables are processed
Source Recycling in Rockford receives recyclables from Bull Valley,
Crystal Lake, Harvard, Lakewood, Marengo, McHenry, Wonder Lake and
DuKane Transfer Station receives recyclables from Cary, Prairie Grove and Spring Grove.
America of Lake County in Grayslake receives recyclables from
Algonquin, Sun City, Fox River Grove, Holiday Hills, Island Lake,
Johnsburg, Lakemoor, McCullom Lake, Oakwood Hills, Port Barrington,
Richmond, Ringwood and Trout Valley.
Resource Management in Chicago receives recyclables from Lake in the Hills.
information about recycling, check out the online Recycling Director
for McHenry County at www.mcdef.org/recy.pdf and the online McHenry
County Business Recycling Directory at www.mcdef.org/busrec.pdf. Hard
copies are also available.
- The Recycling Round-up column is a
cooperative effort of the McHenry County Planning and Development
Department (815) 334-4560, the Lou Marchi Total Recycling Institute at
McHenry County College at (815) 489-7817, the McHenry County Defenders
(815) 338-0393 and the Algonquin Township Road District. Yours
resources for recycling information.