Seattle Public Utilities Mami Hara, General Manager/CEO

Recycling Process

You recycle at home and buy recycled products at the store because it's good for the environment and saves you money. But what happens to your recyclables between your house and the manufacturers who make recycled products? Recycling at home is just the first step in making new products from old ones.

  • Recycling at home - Recycling starts with you when you recycle at home. Where does it go? - find out what goes where and how to prepare each item for recycling.
  • Recycling collection - Your recycling gets collected on a regular schedule.
  • Delivery to the recycling facility - Your recycling is delivered to a facility where it will be sorted and baled.
  • Material sorting - Forty people work at the facility to sort recyclables by type of material: paper, glass, metal and plastic. Their goal is to remove contamination so the most material can be recycled into new products.
  • Baling recyclables - Materials such as paper, metal, and plastic are baled and delivered to manufacturing plants all over the world.
  • Making recycled products - Manufacturers turn your recyclables into all kinds of useful products (pdf) from recycled paper to fleece jackets and more.