Tips - Buy Recycled

Closing the Loop

Do you know why the recycling symbol has three chasing arrows? Each arrow represents one step in the three step recycling process that completes the recycling loop.

The first step is collection. This is when you put your recyclables into your blue recycling cart or take them to a drop-off site. The collected materials are then prepared for market and sold to a manufacturing facility.

Manufacturing is the second step in the recycling process. The recyclable materials are converted into new products and shipped to stores to be sold as new consumer goods.

The third step is where you, the consumer, purchase products made with recycled content. When you "Buy Recycled", you complete the recycling loop. Always check the % post consumer recycled content (% pcr) of the products you buy. A higher % pcr means more of the product was made from recyclables collected from residential or commercial recycling programs.

Examples of Recycled Content Products

A wide variety of products containing recycled materials are available. Some products, like those made from glass, steel, aluminum, and cardboard almost always contain recycled content. Many other products can be found that contain recycled materials if you look for them. The following table lists a few of the recycled-content products that can be found locally.

Recyclable Materials  Recycled Content Products Brand Name Stores
Glass bottles and jars Glass bottles and jars, glass bowls, vases, and candle stick holders
All brands All stores, Home Environment
Steel (tin) cans Any steel product All brands All stores
Aluminum cans Aluminum cans All brands All stores
PET plastic Carpet, fleece jackets, hats, and gloves
Kid Tough, Radical, Rockhill Manor, Patagonia Menards, Home Depot, REI
HDPE plastic Trash bags, plastic lumber Renew, Seventh Generation Pick 'n Save, Hy-Vee, Whole Foods, Menards, Home Depot
Newspaper Cellulose insulation All brands Menards, Home Depot
Office paper Office paper Geocycle, Great White Office Depot, Best Buy, Office Max, Staples, Wal-Mart
Mixed paper  Paper towels, napkins, bathroom tissue Green Forest, Seventh Generation Pick 'n  Save, Hy-Vee, Whole Foods, Home Environment, Community Pharmacy
Corrugated Cardboard Corrugated cardboard boxes, Cereal boxes All brands All stores

Recycled Product Resources