Real Estate Resources: A Guide to Recycling

Recycling refers to the process of turning used materials like paper, glass, plastic, electronics, metal, automobile materials, hazardous materials, and textiles into new products. As the world’s resources are dwindling, recycling helps to decrease the use of new raw materials and prevent the wastage of materials which can be used again. In reference to global warming, recycling plays a part in the reduction of air and water pollution, energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, and the regular process of waste disposal.

In the 3Rs of the waste hierarchy known as “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, recycling is the third component. The concept of recycling revolves around the idea that used materials can be recycled into some fresh materials, which can be used in the production of new products. In an ideal situation, used cans can be recycled into new cans and used glass can be converted into new glass. From a technical standpoint, such a recycling process can be difficult, or even impossible in some cases. Economically, the process may prove to be even more costly than the manufacturing of the same product by using fresh raw materials or other alternatives. In reality, many materials and products are “recycled” by being reused in the production of other types of materials.

Recycling also refers to the salvaging of some types of materials from products such as car batteries, computers, electronics, and so on. Typically, gold can be found in some computer components, lead can be found in car batteries, and mercury can be found in various items. To ensure that there’s a large constant supply of materials to be recycled, there are three legislative options, namely, container deposit legislation, mandatory recycling collection, and refuse bans. Most people are familiar with container deposit legislation where they get a refund for returning certain containers which are usually made of plastic, glass, and metal. In mandatory recycling collection, a specific recycling target is set for cities, which is to be achieved by a target date. As for refuse bans, the government makes it illegal to dispose of certain materials like old batteries, used oil, garden waste, and tires as waste. To facilitate the collection of recyclable materials, there are drop-off centers, curbside collection, and buy-back centers. Here are some resources to help you learn about recycling.

Automotive Materials

Construction Materials


Gardening Materials


Hazardous Materials

Household Items



Plastic Materials

Miscellaneous Recycling Resources