Where does my recycling go?

Watch the "Saving Little Pieces of Our Earth" video and learn more about how your recycling is sorted and made into new products.  In the video, you will see video clips from a sorting facility similar to West Van Materials Recovery Center that show the sorting and processing of paper, plastic, aluminum, steel, and glass and how the materials are made into new products.

"Saving Little Pieces of the Earth" An introduction to Recycling and Why It's Important (Entire Video: 13:27 minutes)

How Paper Gets Recycled (1:31 minutes)

How Plastic Gets Recycled (2:13 minutes)

How Glass Gets Recycled (3:33 minutes)

How Trash Gets Recycled (2:34 minutes)

How Aluminum Get Recycled (1:30 minutes)

How Steel Gets Recycled (1:47 minutes)

Please Note:

Saving Little Pieces of our Earth was produced by the Oregon Waste Reduction and Education Action Committee and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Slight modifications have been made with their approval to reflect handling of recyclables in Clark County.

West Van Materials Recovery Center

West Van is actually more than a transfer station, it is a materials recovery facility or MRF (pronounced 'MERF'), where recyclables are separated and prepared for shipment. At this local MRF, recyclable items or materials are sorted, baled (most of the time), and loaded onto tractor trailer trucks to go to factories or mills for remanufacture.

In Fall 2009, West Van Materials Recovery Center was equipped with a new system for sorting recycled materials.  This system processes the mixed recycling collected in the blue cart recycling program. 

Close the Loop: Buy Recycled

By purchasing items with recycled content, you can 'close the loop' and encourage manufacturers to use your recycled materials in their process. This provides a market for your milk jugs, aluminum, tin, glass and paper and creates a 'closed system' where raw materials are needed in lesser quantities and your recyclable materials are in demand.