How Do Waste Management Companies Separate the Garbage?


Quick Answer

Depending on the their resources, waste management companies separate the garbage via truck into many different categories, such as plastic water bottles, cloth and "reusables," food waste, diapers and other more toxic garbage items, paper and e-waste (such as cellphones). Most companies will collect recyclables from peoples' homes or from recycling centers.

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How Do Waste Management Companies Separate the Garbage?
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Full Answer

Each city and state throughout the United States is allowed to create its own laws, rules and regulations around waste management, apart from hazardous materials, which are federally regulated. Landfills and incinerators are used to help get rid of waste materials that cannot be recycled, while recyclables are turned into other useful products.

In some cities, such as South Pasadena, homeowners do not have to worry about separating their own trash and recyclables for waste management companies. Instead, waste management companies separate the items themselves when they receive the waste. This new process is called "mixed waste processing."

One thing that many waste management companies do is send recycled raw materials to other countries. Scrap paper, for example, can help provide an income to help offset expenses with waste management. New York City is one city that does this with scrap paper and other recycled raw materials. However, shipping and other competition from businesses make it difficult to make a high profit.

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