Twenty years ago, only one curbside recycling program existed in the United States, which collected several materials at the curb. By 1998, 9,000 curbside programs and 12,000 recyclable drop-off centers had sprouted up across the nation. Recycling is one of the greatest successes of the United States and has several benefits towards the environment and human population.
Collecting and processing secondary materials, manufacturing recycled-content products, and then purchasing recycled products creates a circle or loop that ensures the overall success and value of recycling. Collecting recyclables varies from community to community, but there are four primary methods; curbside, drop-off centers, buy-back centers, and deposit/refund programs. Next, recyclables are sent to a materials recovery facility to be sorted and prepared into marketable commodities for manufacturing. Once cleaned and separated, the recyclables are ready to be manufactured. After manufacturing the materials, they are sent to the store for consumers to purchase to complete the loop (EnvironmentalRecycling).
Many materials are able to be recycled. These materials include auto batteries, steel cans, yard trimmings, aluminum drink cans, paper, plastics, glass, tires and rubber, metal, and minerals. The most commonly recycled object is auto batteries followed by steel cans and yard trimmings. While recycling has grown in general, recycling of specific materials has grown even more drastically: 42 percent of all paper, 40 percent of all plastic soft drink bottles, 55 percent of all aluminum beer and soft drink cans, 57 percent of all steel packaging, and 52 percent of all major appliances are now recycled (National Recycling).
Recycling is extremely beneficent to the environment and the human population.