All You Need To Know About Recycling: The Biggest Centers And The Process Details

Check out the biggest recycling centers in the USA. Among the materials liable for recycling are paper, glass, plastic, aluminum, electronics, etc. It’ll not only help save the environment but will also make you good money. Find the locations, contact details, costs, and other useful information on the recycling process you need.

Recycling In The Usa: Benefits For The Environment And The People

The USA is the biggest producer of waste in the world. That’s why the problem of recycling is so important for the country’s economy, environment, and policy on the whole. Do you want to help protect nature and save it for your children? Join the recycling movement. Find out what you can recycle and how to do it. Besides, it can bring some extra money. 

American Recycling And Environmental Protection Policy

Americans make more than 200 million tons of garbage each year. 75% of this waste stream is recyclable, but they only recycle about 30% of it. But the government is doing its best to improve the situation. 42 states now have their own recycling or waste diversion goals, and 18 are trying to divert upwards of half their waste via recycling or composting.  Moreover, the BlueGreen Alliance, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Recycling Works! advocate that the U.S. government is planning to recycle 75 % of waste coast-to-coast by 2030.

Benefits Of Recycling

“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” – is the main principle of the EPA (the United States Environmental Protection Agency).

You can’t but agree with it as the advantages of recycling waste are innumerable for:

  • the environment.
  • the country’s economy,
  • the people.


  • Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators
  • Protects water supplies, wood, gas and other natural resources and minerals
  • Encourages the country to use their own source of materials as well as alternative energy which makes the economy more secured
  • Helps to reduce pollution by providing recycled materials instead of raw ones
  • Saves energy
  • Supports American manufacturing and conserves valuable resources
  • Helps create jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States
  • Lets people improve their financial situation by earning some extra money

Interesting fact!

Sweden’s resident Curt Degerman managed to make $1.4 million collecting cans and bottles and taking the refunds to the stock market. 19-year-old Princeton student Tom Szaky earned $1 million turning old soda bottles into containers of organic fertilizer. Zhang Yin and her husband made a fortune of $1.5 billion by collecting scrap paper from garbage bins and sending it to be recycled into cardboard boxes.

For those who are still in need of quick cash there are other ways as easy and useful as recycling – apply for a Payday Loan or Personal Installment Loan online and get the necessary funds within one business day.

How To Find Recycling Centers Near Me

According to the report, the top 10 greenest states are:

  1. Vermont
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Oregon
  4. Washington
  5. Connecticut
  6. Maine
  7. Minnesota
  8. New York
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Rhode Island

However, in all the other states there are also plenty of centers for recycling. If you want to do it right, you’d better follow our advice:

  1. Firstly, read your state’s laws and find out what you can recycle at home and what you have to take to a recycling center.
  2. Secondly, find the recycling center near you. Most government websites offer the list of companies with their addresses and contacts. There are even special apps to find the nearest location.
  3. Thirdly, get as much information on the center as possible. It’ll be easier and quicker to find the right spot if you know all the details.

What Can I Recycle?

When you think of recycling, in most cases you consider aluminum cans, plastic water bottles and plastic grocery bags.

Their rates are:

  • 64.7% of Paper
  • 33.0% of Steel
  • 26.0% of Glass
  • 19.8% of Aluminum
  • 9.5% of Plastics  

But we can add many more things to this list. Most of these materials are just wasted by you instead of being recycled or reused for the sake of environment and your budget :

  • Cars
  • Clothes
  • Christmas trees
  • Food
  • Food containers
  • Computers
  • Cell phones
  • Ink cartridges
  • Tires
  • Telephones
  • Magazines
  • Bulbs
  • Motor oil
  • Books
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Batteries
  • Plastic bags
  • CDs/ DVDs
  • Televisions
  • Aluminum cans
  • Toys
  • Paper
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Shoes
  • Toothbrushes and razors
  • Scrap metal
  • Glass
  • Old jewelry
  • Wine corks
  • Old Christmas lights
  • Appliances
  • Eyeglasses
  • Phone books

Electronics Recycling

A United Nations study reported that 44.7 million tons of e-waste was discarded in 2016, and only 20 % of it was disposed of properly.8 Electronics products such as TVs, cell phones, MP3s and many others contain toxic substances, such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, which all must be disposed of carefully. 25 states have passed laws requiring people to recycle old electronics. However, all the others should also pay special attention to the recycling of these gadgets. There are certain rules you need to follow:

  • Make sure you’ve deleted all personal information.
  • Find the recycler or a drop-off location, or you may wait till the collection day for electronics.
  • Give it to charity or a person who needs it.
  • Take it to a Tech Company, manufacturer or retailer offering recycling programs.

Metal Recycling

Interesting fact!

Recycling one ton of steel saves 1,136 kg of iron ore, 454 kg of coal and 18 kg of limestone.

Scrap metal can be subdivided into ferrous and non-ferrous. The first one contains some iron and the second has no such component. Non-ferrous metals are for example aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, tin, zinc and others. The value of their recycling reached $32 billion in the USA in 2014, while ferrous metal recycling was worth $18.3 billion.

Metal recycling is not only economically profitable but has a lot of environmental benefits as well. It’s the basis of a very powerful industry and creates a lot of jobs. It produces a raw material used for manufacturing of new goods. Besides you can make a lot of extra money recycling your old car or other metal equipment.

Plastic Recycling

Plastic waste includes PET (polyethylene terephthalate), HDPE (high-density polyethylene), PS (polystyrene), foam peanuts, agricultural plastics and others.

Interesting fact!

It takes up to 500 years to decompose plastic items in landfills.

According to EPA, 9.1% of plastic material generated in the U.S. Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) stream was recycled in 2015. Another 15.5% was combusted for energy, while 75.4% was sent to landfills. 

Plastic recycling though very useful is rather a difficult process. It’s complex to sort plastic materials. The processing equipment cost is very high. And Consumers don’t understand which kinds of plastic can be recycled and which can’t. To indicate the potentially recyclable containers a special symbol was invented – the resin identification code is stamped or printed on the bottom of containers and surrounded by a triangle of arrows.

Cardboard Recycling

Cardboard is a kind of paper material which is very easily recyclable. Most often corrugated cardboard and grey paperboard are used in the process of manufacturing paper boxes and packaging material.

Corrugated cardboard is made of multiple corrugated and flat layers of carton, this is used for cardboard boxes. The material is thick, durable and strong so perfect for packing goods for transport.

Paperboard or fiberboard is made of recycled cardboard, it looks like normal paper but it is a bit thicker. This foldable paperboard is usually grey-colored and is used for cereal boxes or shoe boxes, the material is also called containerboard. It is sturdy but can be more easily torn than corrugated cardboard.

Cardboard waste can be recycled with the help of local cardboard collection companies, shredders, or balers. You can also schedule a pick-up or use a special trash container.

Then it can be used to make chipboard like cereal boxes, paperboard, paper towels, tissues, and printing or writing paper.

The average price for the cardboard is $100 per ton.

Aluminum Cans Recycling

Aluminum is the most widespread material. It’s used for the production of cans, foil, etc. 800,000 tons of aluminum cans are recycled today.

Interesting fact!

Over 100,000 Aluminum cans are recycled every minute in the U.S. alone. Used aluminum cans are recycled and returned to a store shelf as a new can in as few as 60 days.

Recycling one aluminum can save enough energy to listen to a full album on your iPod. Recycling 100 cans could light your bedroom for two whole weeks.

The benefits of aluminum cans recycling are:

  • huge reductions in energy consumption,
  • saving natural resources,
  • less water pollution
  • smaller waste disposal costs
  • labor costs reduction

So, think how many cans of coke you drink a week, and how much money you could refund if you recycled them.

According to Beverage Marketing Corporation, the average American drinks 44.7gallons of soda every year. That’s about 487 cans or 286 bottles or 85 2-liters of that carbonated syrup every year.

So, if you send recycling about 500 cans a year 1.7 cent each you can make $8.5.

Glass Recycling

Glass bottles and glass jars must be recycled by both households and businesses in some states according to the law. Sometimes you need to separate the glass by color. Then it’s recycled into fiberglass insulation, new bottles, and jars, etc.

You can recycle glass by simply putting it into the recycling box. It’s preferable to wash it at first and remove the cork. But don’t put light bulbs here.

Paper Recycling

Paper is very often used in everyday life and consequently much more of it is recycled in comparison with plastic, aluminum and glass combined. About 70% of all used paper is recycled in the US. It’s easy for consumers as they have access to curbside or drop-off and they are used to recycling paper. The process is easy and rather straightforward. And the benefits are huge:

1 ton of recycled paper saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water and 463 gallons of oil, according to the EPA. And you can even get paid for delivering paper to the recycling center: 1 ton costs about $50 – $75. So, don’t throw away old newspapers, books or magazines. You can earn a fortune on them.

How Much Can You Earn Recycling?

Material Quantity Price
Electronics 1 computer $30
Metal 100 pounds $10
Plastic 1 pound $0.50 – $1.20
Aluminum 1 pound / 1 can $0.40 – $0.60 / 1.7 cent
Cardboard 1 ton $10
Glass 100 bottles $5
Paper 1 ton $50-$75

So, to get extra $100 for emergency expenses you can either collect and sell for recycling 10 tons of cardboard, 1 ton of metal, 2 tons of paper, or just apply online for a Payday Loan and get the money the next day.


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