There are many different recyclable materials and various ways to recycle them. Recyclables collected from the recycling depots, and eventually from residential curbsides, are taken to the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) located in Brier Park for sorting. The materials are sorted into the specific commodity types and then sold to various buyers/processors that recycle the materials into new products.
Process of Recycling
The recycling process involves three stages. First, the old products are collected and processed, where they are sorted, cleaned and made ready for recycling or manufacturing new products. The second stage involves the manufacturing of new products from the raw material obtained by the processing of the old products. Finally, the process ends with the purchasing of recycled goods by the consumers.
Example of a Recycling Process – Plastic Recycling
Different plastics are used to make different items. At the start of the plastic recycling process, plastic is separated into the various different types according to the symbol on the bottom of the container / resin content. It’s then shredded into small flakes or chunks depending on the type of plastic it is. The flakes and chunks are cleaned to remove any remaining contamination and then dried with moderate heat. The dry flakes and chunks are then melted into granules with specialized equipment so that the plastic is not destroyed. Next, the melted plastic granules are compressed into tiny pellets called nurdles. These pellets are now ready to be reused or redesigned into new plastic products.
The success of the recycling process relies on people buying the recycled products. Wherever possible, do your part and purchase products made from recycled materials!
Yard waste materials are recycled too! The yard waste materials collected from Medicine Hat residents or self-hauled to the Waste Management Facility are turned into a class A compost that the is sold as SureGrow compost. SureGrow compost is available for purchase at the Waste Management Facility scale house in 20 litre bags or by self-loads in bulk quantities. You can recycle yard and food waste materials at home by making your own backyard composter!
Other recyclable materials accepted at the Waste Management Facility including paint, oil, HHW and e-waste are retrieved by a transfer company who transports the various materials for either safe disposal at the Swan Hills Treatment Centre or to be broken down and recycled into new products.