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What does recycling actually mean? We found all sorts of definitions, some more technical than others but to put it simply;

“Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. Recycling can benefit your community and the environment.”

Recycled Bottle

"Recycling means capturing materials that would otherwise go to waste in order to save natural resources and the energy that it used to extract and transform natural resources into finished products.”

While we are very familiar with primary recycling; also known as closed loop recycling, the process of turning one thing into more of the same thing, like paper into more paper or soda cans into more soda cans; secondary and tertiary recycling is very important and different. Secondary recycling means turning something into other things made of the same material in essentially the same form. Tertiary or chemical recycling, on the other hand, requires breaking materials down chemically to produce something very different. Why are these forms of recycling important?

They reduce waste. Recycling naturally reduces waste by keeping more things out of landfills, but secondary recycling is especially important because it means more and more items can be recycled into more and more different end-products. When recycling isn’t limited to things like aluminum cans that can be reproduced into themselves, the possibilities for recycling expand significantly. It also helps us get the most from materials that aren’t infinitely recyclable, making them go as far as possible before they reach the end of their recycling lifespan.

recycled paper

They Fuel Innovation. While primary recycling lets you create more of the same product without using more natural resources, secondary recycling creates opportunities for finding new ways to incorporate materials from used products into things we already produce and into new things we may not have thought of before. The quicker you can turn an un-usable product into a usable one, the better. Conservation is the purpose of recycling after all, so saving energy makes recycling all the more worth it.

Recycling is easy. Visit your local government and community websites in your area to learn what you can do. They will list what items are recyclable and the best options to recycle them. These sites will also educate you on what some of the symbols mean that we see on the bottom of plastic bottles and containers.

We encourage to recycle all Good Office Day products when you are done using them. Check with your local program to see if you need to separate your materials or if they can be mixed together.

Visit the EPA or your local community for more information.

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