WHAT HAPPENS TO THE ITEMS THAT I RECYCLE?
- Material extracted from aerosol cans is disposed of as hazardous waste.
- The metal that remains is collected by a scrap metal recycler.
AMMUNITION is incinerated; the metal casings are recycled.
- Antifreeze is filtered, chemicals are added to restore it to comparable virgin antifreeze, and then it is re-sold.
- Lead-Acid Batteries are smashed and placed in a vat where the lead and heavy materials sink to the bottom while the plastic floats. The plastic is Melted and used to manufacture new battery cases. The lead and heavy metals are melted and used to make new battery parts. This “closed loop” recycling diverts a lot of material from the waste stream.
- Motor Oil is filtered and re-used as fuel in the asphalt paving business.
- Oil Filters are separated into metal and paper: the metal is melted and re-used in making steel; the paper is used as an alternative fuel source at approved cement kilns.
BATTERIES (Alkaline and Rechargeable):
- Metals from dry-cell batteries (i.e., alkaline, lithium, and nickel-cadmium) are extracted and re-used to make new batteries, stainless steel and re-bar steel.
- Other extracted materials are used in products for building roads, parking lots and commercial driveways.
- Paper and plastic components are not recycled because the small quantity and mixed grade render them unacceptable to users of recycled paper and plastic.
- After a 40-pound battery is recycled, the material that remains weighs about as much as a car key!
- Items are disassembled into glass, plastics and metals which are reclaimed for manufacturing new products.
- Less than 5% of e-waste is landfill.
FIRE EXTINGUISHERS are either recharged, or recycled as scrap iron.
- High BTU (>5,000 BTUs/lb.) liquids, sludge, and solids are blended into an alternative fuel used by approved cement kilns.
LAWN & GARDEN CHEMICALS, HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS, MEDICATIONS:
- Usable items are placed on the Drop & Swap shelves and are offered free to El Paso and Teller county residents.
- Unusable items are incinerated at high temperatures, which can destroy up to 99.9% of all hazardous elements.
- Items containing mercury (i.e., fluorescent lights, fever thermometers, thermostats and light switches) are processed in ultra-high temperature ovens that separate the mercury from the glass and metal.
- 99.9% of the mercury is recaptured; the remaining glass and metal is recycled.
PAINT / STAINS:
- Good paint is bulked for reuse by non-profit organizations, private citizens, contractors, locations like the State
- Fairgrounds, and for graffiti removal.
- Unusable paint is either disposed of at an approved location or used to make building materials.
- Stains are either reused once, or bulked and disposed of with an environmental company to be used as fuel at approved cement kilns.
PROPANE TANKS are either reused, or recycled as scrap iron for art pieces or projects.
Go to www.elpasoco.com and search for “solid waste management” for more details.