You know you’re doing the right thing when you bring your empties in to Country Hills Bottle Depot in Calgary. But have you ever wondered what happens to your beverage containers once they are recycled? Depending on the material, each container can be reused in several different ways:
Beer and pop cans can be recycled over and over again without losing their original properties. The aluminum is melted down to be used in electrical cables, bicycle parts, door fittings or more beverage cans.
Clear and coloured glass is grinded down and made into concrete, sandblasting material, insulation fibreglass or reflective beads for roadway paint. Brown beer bottles are kept separate and sent back to the brewery to be cleaned and re-filled.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is found in clear, blue and green plastic containers. The material is turned into pellets when recycled, eventually becoming non-food PET containers, carpets, fleece jackets, industrial straps or plastic sheets.
Made from High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), milk jug material becomes oil, plastic lumber, dish soap, tables and benches, truck bed liners, trash bins and roadside curbs. It can also be re-purposed into non-food HDPE containers.
Milk and juice cartons are made from a paper-based material, carbon coated with a polymer like polyethylene. The paperboard is broken down into a pulp, which is then used to create new paper products, including writing paper, corrugated paper, paper towel, toilet paper and linerboards.
Any beverage container that resembles a food can, such as an apple or tomato juice can, is made up of a steel body with an aluminum top. These two metals are baled, melted down and turned into rebar or car parts.
Also known as Tetra Brik, Tetra Paks are part paperboard, part polyethylene, and part aluminum foil. Each material is recovered and recycled separately.