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The Importance of Sorting

RedFish RecyclingRedFish Recycling utilizes a method called single-stream recycling to separate different types of recyclables and the different grades of those recyclables. Between the paper and cardboard, plastic, and metal that we collect from our commercial and community recycling dumpsters, each type is carefully sorted with like items to send off to the mills for reuse.

So why do we put so much importance on what you can and can’t recycle and why do we put so much effort in sorting the recyclables collected? It’s all about how those materials are processed for post-consumer use. In the recycling process, there are many quality control checkpoints, but the sooner we sort, the better.

  • Plastics get separated by grade, and then each grade is cleaned and chopped into little tiny pieces. So plastics of different grades that sneak by the sorting process are then a hundred times more difficult to sort as tiny pieces. Plastics are then melted down into molds to become a new product. A different grade can contaminate the batch and make a sub-par quality plastic that is unfit for reuse.
  • Paper and cardboard go through a similar cleaning process as plastics. They are sorted and cleaned (papers that are alike go through similar cleaning processes to wash out inks and contaminants). The paper is then chopped up into tiny pieces to create a pulp to recreate paper products.
  • Metals get sorted into different types (aluminum and tin in our case) to get processed and melted. A mix of metals melted down creates an alloy, which is not necessarily the desired end product for producing goods out of recycled metal.

Sorting consists of not only keeping #1 plastics away from #2 plastics but also ensures that RedFish is only accepting the materials that are listed on our recycling bins. So please, keep your glass, organic waste, Styrofoam and electronics out of the recycling bins to help us sort through the rubbage to find our recyclable material.

One man’s trash in another man’s treasure.