Where does your recycling end up?
After spending a month at the Pacific Garbage Patch I know the unfortunate answer to this question. But that’s only when things go awry. GOOD magazine, Spot.us and iStanford all have answers to where your recycling should end up. Sometimes it gets turned into new products like carpeting, shoes or counter tops. Other times it gets shipped halfway around the world for sale on the commodities market.
Below you’ll find:
1) a photo slide show
2) An info graphic and
3) An audio slide show that attempt to answer the same question
Earlier this year, photographer Mathieu Young posted a photo slide show on GOOD‘s website that went behind the scenes at a Materials Recovery Facility or MRF. That’s just a fancy way of saying this is where the materials are sorted before they’re actually recycled. The recycling often takes place at another center.
And Spot.us recently showcased an infographic that diagrams your recyclables’ journey. The funds for this project by Justine Sharrock were all crowd-sourced just as the funds for my garbage patch story were. It’s a very cool visual.
And while at Stanford I produced an audio slide show that also took a look at an MRF facility here in the Bay Area. I interviewed a Stanford student to see if she knew where her recycling ended up–the results were surprising.