Un-scrambling the Recycling Process
RecycleLink is here as a resource not only to help Lincoln, Nebraska recycle, but also to clear up any questions you might have about exactly what happens to those cans, newspapers, egg cartons and junk mail you just might end up seeing again…maybe next time as a cereal box.
We’re happy to take you step-by-step through the collection, sorting and recycling sequence of events, and introduce you to other places you might find useful for additional information.
Single Stream. What Does it Mean?
RecycleLink uses a single-stream recycling process to efficiently collect Lincoln area recyclables. Single-stream recycling allows for all recyclables to be dumped into one cart and then compacted into one truck at collection. This allows recyclers to easily collect and store recyclables. Single-stream also allows RecycleLink to collect more recyclables on collection day reducing the amount of trucks on the road ultimately reducing the amount of fuel used during collection.
OK, you’ve put your recyclables into one cart. Now what?
On pick-up day, RecycleLink dumps the recyclables into the recycling truck and unloads the mixed recyclables at Firstar Fiber, the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).
The unsorted mix paper, plastic, and metal is dumped onto a conveyor belt and then towards a series of sorting disc screens. First the cardboard is sorted off, next paper is removed from the plastics and metal, and finally the plastics and metal are sorted by magnets and conveyor belts. Once all the recyclables are sorted they are baled into 2,000 pound bales and shipped to recycling mills all over the world to be made into new recycled products.