Single Stream Recycling - What is it and why we should just do it!

Let's Do this! - Single Stream Recycling - Single Stream Recycling refers to a WCA service in which all kinds of recyclables such as plastics, paper, metals, etc. are put into a single bin by our customers. Afterward, the recyclables are collected and transported to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) where they are sorted and processed. A benefit of this approach is that our customers don’t have to separate or sort the recyclables. Rather, they are encouraged to put everything that is not trash into a single bin. This approach helps to increase the quantity of material recovered, but, as we will discuss below, not necessarily the quality.

Once the recyclables are put into curbside recycling bins, WCA collects, sorts, and processes the recyclables. After processing, similar kinds of recyclables are baled and shipped to recyclers of specific materials, ultimately to be utilized in the production of new products. This is a very simple description of the process.

One of the most notable benefits of single stream recycling is increased recycling rates. As consumers don’t have to do the sorting, they are more encouraged to participate in the curbside recycling programs. Again, less space is required to store collection containers. From the point of view of the collection, costs for the hauling process are reduced versus separate pickups for different recycling streams. The simple process receives greater public approval.

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