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What is single-stream recycling?

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Quick Answer

According to Eco-Cycle, single-stream recycling is a system in which recyclers can co-mingle paper, bottles and cans without having to sort them for recycling. All recyclable materials are kept co-mingled through collection and processing and are only separated once they reach a materials recovery facility.

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What is single-stream recycling?
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Full Answer

Single-stream recycling systems were first developed in California in the 1990s and have spread to many other communities since then. Single-stream recycling reduces the costs of collection because only one truck is needed for collection. It also typically allows for a greater variety of recyclable materials to be collected, especially different grades of paper. As of 2012, 248 materials recovery facilities capable of handling single-stream recycling were operating in the United States.

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