We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Recycling Plant?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
AboutMechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At AboutMechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A recycling plant is a facility which processes materials for recycling. Recycling plants may be attached to landfills to streamline the waste management process, or they may be independent facilities. The goods handled at a recycling plant are quite varied, depending on regional demand for specific materials, and the capacity of the plant itself.

Recycling is a complex process, which starts with a consumer dropping a recyclable object or container into a designated recycling bin. Once that object reaches a plant, it is dumped onto a conveyor with numerous other items for sorting. Sorted goods are divided by type, so that like can be recycled with like. After sorting, the goods are usually cleaned, so that they are ready for the recycling process.

Melting, shredding, and pulping are all used to prepare things for recycling. Glass tends to be chipped and then melted so that it can be made into new glass objects, although some recycling plants also offer bottle reclamation, in which bottles are sterilized for reuse. Shredding is used to package plastic, metal, and paper for processing, while pulping is used to convert paper products into a slurry which can be made into paper all over again.

Once objects have been broken down at a recycling plant, they can be shipped to facilities which make things from recycled goods. Demand for raw supply fluctuates, so sometimes a recycling plant ends up with a backlog of materials like shredded plastic, and in some cases, the plant may be forced to landfill excess material because it runs out of storage space.

Many recycling plants encounter recyclables which they cannot handle. These are packaged and shipped to plants which specialize in these items. Some facilities, for example, focus on recycling electronic components, using trained staff to break down discarded electronics safely so that their usable components can be reclaimed and reused. Other facilities may specialize in handling scrap metal, or rare types of plastic.

For consumers who are really concerned about recycling, it is a good idea to contact the recycling plant which collects recyclables locally, to find out what it does with materials it cannot process, along with excess recyclable materials which are not in demand. Unprocessable materials may not always be shipped out, especially if the plant cannot profit by sending these objects to plants which can process them, and some recycling plants may landfill unusable or excess material, or ship it to another region of the world, where it may be dumped instead of being recycled.

AboutMechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a AboutMechanics researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By DentalFloss — On Nov 10, 2010

@anon36723, I imagine contacting other neighboring cities' recycling centers or going to thecity government would be good starting points to begin your own center. It would also probably be important to make sure you have a good source of volunteers as you get started. Hopefully you can at least get to the point of offering basic glass, metal, and plastic recycling.

By anon36723 — On Jul 14, 2009

I'm a member of Grassy Narrows First Nations, Ontario. Currently my community is fighting for the protection and conservation of our land. With all the fighting for our land. I realized that we are not exactly doing anything about the waste that the community of Grassy Narrows creates. Since the surrounding cities do not accept materials from our community, I was wondering how do we go about creating our own recycling plant?

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.