Recycling Numbers: Breaking Down the Meaning Behind Each One

Recycling center employees sorting recycling.

Waste management is a critical part of any business, and it’s important to make sure you’re recycling correctly. But with all the different numbers and symbols on recycling bins, it can be difficult to know what goes where.

To make the most effective decisions about your waste management, it’s important to understand the individual meanings of each recycling number. This blog post will break down what each number represents so that you can make informed choices about your company’s waste management program.

What Do Recycling Numbers Mean?

When recycling numbers are thrown around, it can be hard to understand what they actually mean. Let’s break down the meaning behind each number so that you can more effectively recycle materials from your business.

Number 1 (PET)

This is the number for plastics that are made from Polyethylene Terephthalate or PET. These are typically clear plastic bottles and containers, microwavable food trays, salad containers, and more. PET is safe to recycle, and it can be turned into new products like carpeting, clothing, and furniture.

Number 2 (HDPE)

This is the number for High-Density Polyethylene or HDPE. These are usually opaque plastic bottles and containers. HDPE is also safe to recycle, and it can be used to create new products like detergent bottles, milk jugs, shampoo bottles, and toys.

Number 3 (PVC)

This is the number for vinyl or PVC. PVC is often used in food packaging, cooking oil bottles, pipes, and siding. It can be recycled, but it’s not as common as other types of plastic, mostly to make the likes of mudflaps, cables, roadway gutters, and paneling.

Number 4 (LDPE)

This is the number for Low-Density Polyethylene or LDPE. These are usually clear plastic bags and wraps. LDPE is safe to recycle, and it can be used to create new products like trash liners, floor tiles, and food packaging.

Number 5 (PP)

This is the number for Polypropylene or PP. These are usually opaque plastic containers as we typically see in syrup and ketchup bottles. PP is safe to recycle, and it can be used to create new products like car parts and diaper liners.

Number 6 (PS)

This is the number for Polystyrene or PS. These are usually rigid plastic containers. PS is not as commonly recycled because it’s difficult to recycle, but it can be turned into new products like egg cartons, foam packaging, light switch plates, and insulation.

Number 7 (Miscellaneous)

This is the number for other types of plastic that don’t fit into any of the other categories. This includes polycarbonate and acrylic. These types of plastic are safe to recycle, but they’re not as common as other types of plastic and are typically repurposed for custom products.

Now that you know what each recycling number means, you can make informed decisions about your company’s waste management program. By understanding the individual meanings of each number, you can ensure that your recycling efforts are effective and sustainable.

Types of Industrial Waste & How To Recycle Them

Industrial waste comes in many different forms. It can be solid, chemical, toxic, or hazardous. It can come from manufacturing processes, construction sites, or even farms — and it can be difficult to know how to recycle it all.

Solid Waste

This is the most common type of industrial waste. It includes things like packaging materials, paper products, and construction debris. Solid waste can be recycled by sorting it into different types of material, such as cardboard, glass, metal, and plastic.

Chemical Waste

This type of industrial waste includes things like cleaning chemicals, oil, and paint. Chemical waste can be recycled by turning it into new products or by incinerating it to produce energy.

Toxic Waste

This type of industrial waste includes things like asbestos, lead, and mercury. Toxic waste must be disposed of carefully to avoid harming the environment. It can be recycled by incineration or by treating it with chemicals, but the most common way to recycle toxic waste is to bury it in a landfill.

It should be noted, though, that there are certain types of industrial waste that are banned from landfills, such as asbestos, mercury, and lead.

Hazardous Waste

This type of industrial waste includes things like batteries, explosives, and radioactive materials. Hazardous waste must be disposed of carefully to avoid harming the environment. Like toxics, it can be recycled by incineration or by treatment with chemicals, as well as buried in a landfill, with the same restrictions as toxics.

Fast Tips On Handling Industrial Waste

When it comes to industrial waste, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure proper handling.

  1. Sort your waste into different types. This will make it easier to recycle.
  2. Avoid mixing hazardous waste with other types of waste. This can be dangerous.
  3. Make sure you know how to dispose of each type of waste properly.
  4. Recycle as much as possible.
  5. Educate your employees on the proper way to handle industrial waste.

If you need help managing your industrial waste, contact Generated Materials Recovery. GMR specializes in commercial waste reduction and industrial recycling services. We have the equipment and machinery to handle all grades of recyclables that few other companies would even touch. We can help companies in different industries create a sustainable waste management program that meets your company’s needs. Call our commercial waste recycling and reduction specialists today to learn more.

Share this article
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Recycling Tips

How Wood Pallet Recycling Works

Learn how to recycle wood pallets from the experts at Generated Materials Recovery. This guide shares what you need to know about wood pallet recycling.

types of industrial waste
Recycling Tips

Types of Industrial Waste & Recyclables

What are the types of industrial waste, and how should they be properly disposed of? Generated Materials Recovery offers solutions to manage waste.

How Can We Help You?

Fill out our contact form to schedule a time to talk with us about how GMR can help your company to increase recycling revenue, achieve sustainability goals, and meet efficiency targets.

Shape

Corporate Office and Materials Processing Center
3444 N. 27th Ave. Phoenix, Arizona 85017
(602) 353-9411

envelope

Sales & General Information
info@generated.com

envelope

Dispatch (current clients only)
dispatch@generated.com