What happensto my recycling?

Scroll down to find out!

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  1. Step 1

    When you set your materials out at curbside, take them to your multi-family recycling location or to a depot, they are collected by a specialized truck that transports your packaging and printed paper to a recycling facility. These trucks are designed for efficient collection. Some have automated arms, compaction systems and even the ability to collect other waste types in separate compartments.

    recycling bin

    Curbside and multi-family

    Most materials collected in the MMBC collection system are "multi-stream", which means that residents sort their materials.

    plus three recycling bins
    bing and bag


    Difficult-to-manage materials, such as glass, plastic foam and plastic bags and overwrap are collected separately at MMBC depots so that they do not mix with other recyclables and spoil their recyclability. Most of these conveniently located depots also accept your packaging and printed paper. For a full list of depots visit the RecyclingInBC website.

  2. Step 2

    Materials are transported to a material recovery facility (MRF) and put onto a conveyor belt where they enter the sorting process.

  3. Step 3

    The materials travel along a series of conveyor belts where large non-recyclable items are first manually removed. The process then continues, using equipment such as fibre separators, magnetic separators, optical sorters and eddy currents to separate the different materials into their designated categories. The materials continue along more conveyor belts for further sorting into separate bunkers or a final quality control clean-up before dropping into a separate bunker.

    conveyor belts
    plus plus
  4. Step 4

    The final sorted materials, such as plastic jugs, aluminum cans, steel cans, newspaper, cardboard, etc. are baled and prepared for shipping.

  5. Step 5

    Once a full truck load of sorted bales is ready, the bales are shipped off to material remanufacturers to be processed into new materials.

    material recovery facility
    plus plastics washed
    plus paper spun to fibre
    plus metals processing
  6. Step 6

    Some materials are recycled back to their original purpose, like plastic bottles and paper products, closing the loop of the product’s life cycle. Others are transformed into completely new products like furniture, car bumpers and shelving. Some materials, such as steel and aluminum cans, have no limit to the number of times they can be recycled.

    plus plastic becoming baskets
    paper to boxes
    boxes loaded
  7. Step 7

    Once the new products and packaging are created, they are packaged and sold back to you. Your materials are recycled into any of these products, plus many more!

    recycled bench, washing machines, clothes
  8. Recycling In Action

    Want to learn more? Watch the video below to see the recycling process in action!