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City of Port Washington, Wisconsin

City of Port Washington - Tips For Going Green

What Happens When You Recycle?

Everyone knows that they should recycle, and what can and can't be recycled - if not, please check out: City of Port Washington Recycling Do's & Don'ts.

Do you know what happens to the items you recycle? First, Advanced Disposal comes and collects your bin of recycling and takes it to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) where everything is sorted and usually shredded, compacted, or broken down. Then it is sent to manufacturers as raw materials.

From there your recycling can be transformed into a variety of items:

  • Plastic soda bottles are recycled into fiberfill, fleece wear, luggage, picnic tables, benches, carpet, buckets and pipe. Forty recycled plastic soda bottles make enough fiberfill to stuff a sleeping bag.
  • Aluminum cans are recycled into lawn chairs, construction products, aluminum foil and even cars. You can save enough energy to operate a TV for six hours by recycling just two aluminum cans.
  • Newspaper and other paper products are recycled into writing paper, cereal boxes, paper towels, tissue paper and cardboard. Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 mature trees, 7,000 gallons of water, three cubic yards of landfill space, two barrels of oil and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity - enough energy to power the average American home for five months.
  • Visit Advanced Disposal for more information.

There is also recycling for electronic items, such as computers and TVs. These have to undergo special recycling techniques because of their hazardous chemicals and toxic substances. Electronics aren't supposed to end up in landfills because of the pollution they give to the environment and health problems given to humans, however many times they do end up in landfills and many times recyclers don't recycle them properly even though they say they do. According to howstuffworks.com, "In the U.S., even if you made a well-intentioned effort to properly recycle your computer, there's a 50-80% chance that your computer didn't end up where you thought it would".

For example your computer gets tested to see if it can be refurbished and reused. If it cannot be reused as one piece they are then broken down into usable parts like Wi-Fi cards, LCDs and CPUs and then resold. After all usable pieces are taken out of your computer, it is broken down further into recyclable materials like steel, aluminum, and copper. Parts like the batteries have to be sent to other recycling facilities that specialize in that type of recycling.

Would you like more information on recycling electronics? Check out these links:


City of Port Washington Going Green Links At A Glance

City of Port Washington Recycling Do's & Don'ts

Advanced Disposal

What Happens To Your Discarded Old Computer

After Dump, What Happens To Electronic Waste?

City of Port Washington, Wisconsin Official You Tube Channel