Recycling Intel

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Here’s the short answer: CLYNK has created a container redemption process that’s easier, quicker, and better for the environment. Curbside collection is vulnerable to contamination with unrecyclable materials, which means many of your recyclables end up in a landfill or incinerator. Other redemption options come closer to CLYNK’s recycling success rate but take longer and are often less convenient to use or get to. And all other options lack the CLYNK technology that reimburses your deposit into a personal account, allowing you to accumulate funds until you want to spend them – and allows you to spend those funds any way you wish, including for charitable purposes.

This one can be confusing, so let’s clear it up. Not all methods of recyclable collection are created equal. And in the recycling world, a little extra effort upfront pays big dividends when collected recyclables make their way through the recycling process. Here’s the quick and dirty on multi- and single-stream recycling:

  • Multi-stream is the gold standard for recycling, where recyclables are separated by type and maintained separately from the moment they’re discarded to the moment they’re processed into new recycled material. When you’re out in public, or at a big event, it’s common to see segregated recycling containers for plastic and glass bottles, and cans, with separate bins for paper products. Because separated multi-stream materials are cleaner and require less processing, they yield much higher recycling rates and greater prospects for high-value use. CLYNK is considered part of multi-stream recycling because we handle segregated beverage containers only.
  • Single-stream recycling is beneficial but less efficient than multi-stream recycling. Single-stream is essentially “recycling lite,” where you put all your recyclable waste in one container and it’s either picked up at curbside or dumped into a large collection container. A typical bucket of single-stream recyclables might include glass, plastic, cardboard, and metal, and because not everyone is meticulous about what they put in a single-stream recycling container, a lot of other stuff – some of which isn’t even recyclable – gets mixed in. Experts estimate that between 25% and 50% of all curbside recycling is contaminated. And that contamination makes sorting difficult and expensive, which means some of the good material gets sacrificed and thrown out with the bad.

When you recycle the CLYNK way, you are practicing a form of what we callSuper Recycling”. That means you take an additional step in your multi-stream recycling to separate your food-grade containers – like water bottles from other non-food-grade containers like plastic detergent bottles, even when they are a similar material. 

CLYNK enables this higher-level multi-stream recycling by giving you a place to definitively recycle those food-grade containers (versus “wishful” recycling when you leave them at the curbside or at a general collection center). And through the beauty of the Bottle Bill, you get an incentive to do this higher-level sort because you also receive your deposit back. This combination of clean, effective recycling and an incentive for you, the consumer, to participate is truly Super Recycling.

The results of Super Recycling are well worth the effort because the more people choose to participate, more material is put into the recycling loop, and that material is much more likely to return as new container material (its highest use), rather than downcycled to lesser-grade examples of the same material or, far worse, ending up in landfills or oceans. To recap, Super Recycling is made possible by:

  • Incentives. We all like to get money back! Deposit fees are a great way to incentivize used container returns, changing behavior for the better.
  • Convenience. We know you’re busy, which is why CLYNK is committed to making recycling easy and convenient so it can fit right into your daily routine.
  • Multi-stream collection. Our process helps ensure you’re returning clean plastic, glass and aluminum containers for processing, which means your returns are less contaminated by materials like detergent bottles – making them much more likely to yield food-grade, quality recyclables.

Disciplined and high-speed processing. Recyclables are processed at scale in Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs). At CLYNK, the customer is able to put all food-grade containers together in one bag, and then our MRF separates plastic, glass,  and metal into unique streams so that each can be recycled to their highest use.

Often considered the driving principle of Bottle Bill laws throughout the United States, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) makes each beverage manufacturer responsible for the entire life cycle of the products it makes and distributes. But it takes more than EPR to deliver the impressive recycling rates CLYNK’s bag drop system produces. At the highest level, the rest of the ecosystem works this way: 

  • Retailers sell beverages and are obligated to take the empty containers back – or to contract someone else (think: CLYNK) to do it.
  • You, the consumer, pay deposits on your bottles and cans, and can redeem your empty containers to reclaim those deposits – and do right by the environment.
  • CLYNK returns your deposit for all eligible containers and processes the returns to produce clean multi-stream recyclables.
  • Beverage manufacturers and distributors then compensate CLYNK for the authorized deposits returned to you, and for CLYNK’s handling and processing efforts on their behalf, then reclaim the processed recyclables for use in manufacturing new beverage containers.

And the cycle repeats itself, ultimately reducing the need for new raw container materials in the manufacturing process.

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