What happens to the materials I place in my recycling bin?

Concord’s recyclables are processed at materials recovery facilities (a.k.a. MRFs) owned by Waste Management, located in Avon, Billerica, and Springfield. Mixed paper is sorted to specifications and baled. The same is true for commingled recyclables (i.e. plastic, glass and metal containers).

Cardboard (a.k.a. OCC) is converted into linerboard, medium for corrugated layer, boxboard, and cardboard cores. Mixed paper is converted into newsprint, medium, and duplex board. This material is primarily sent to regional mills: Rand Whitney, Caraustar, & Sunoco.

Glass goes almost exclusively to Patriot Recycling in Raynham, MA, where it is crushed and screened to remove contaminants like bottle caps and shredded paper; then mixed with ground asphalt and concrete for road base material. Less than one-quarter of the glass is shipped to New Hampshire and used for constructing roads in a landfill. Some recovered clear glass goes to Strategic materials in Connecticut.

Aluminum goes back into aluminum sheet used to manufacture cans. Companies like Constellium headquartered in the Netherlands and Schupan in Wixom, MI purchase this material. Tin is sent to domestic densifiers and then on to steel mills where steel is repurposed into low-grade (non-construction/automotive) products like appliances and rebar.

Plastic PET goes to Mohawk Industries in GA & PP and HDPE goes to KW Plastics in NC, and is utilized for the manufacturing of plastic bottles, plastic decking, carpeting, other plastic products, and even clothing.

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Show All Answers

1. What happens to the materials I place in my recycling bin?
2. Are pizza boxes recyclable?
3. Can old pots and pan be recycled at curbside?
4. What materials can I recycle in my green bins?
5. Is there any place where I can recycle my plastic bags?
6. How do I recycle corrugated cardboard?
7. What do I do with old paint?
8. How do I dispose of my old smoke/fire detector?
9. How do I get rid of furniture and household items I no longer want?
10. How do I get rid of my old TV or computer?
11. How do I dispose of my trash and recyclables?