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Recycling is the process of making new products from old materials. Recycling saves natural resources and energy.  Therefore, recycling reduces the pollution associated with manufacturing from new raw materials.

Recycling is often discussed on two levels: preconsumer and postconsumer. Preconsumer recycling is when materials come out of the manufacturing waste stream prior to ever entering the marketplace. Postconsumer recycling occurs after a product has been purchased and used by an individual.  Postconsumer recyclables are turned back into raw materials which used again rather than becoming garbage.

A citizen practices recycling by sorting their recyclable glass, cans, and plastic from their trash in a cafeteria.

Many materials can be easily recycled in Tennessee including: aluminum, steel, paper, cardboard, and most glass and plastic. Other materials including electronics, used motor oil, and old tires can also be recycled.  Unique items like eyeglasses, cell phones, and plastic six-pack rings are also being collected for recycling.  Organic materials including leaves, grass clippings, and table scraps can be recycled in a compost pile.   The EPA has many additional resources on recycling.

For more information about the Tennessee Pollution Prevention Partnership, please contact Karen Grubbs at 615-532-0463 or 1-800-734-3619 or by email at [email protected].