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Common Recyclable Items and Related Terms

Aluminum—a lightweight, silver-white, metallic element that makes up approximately 7 percent of the Earth's crust. Aluminum is used in a variety of ways, but perhaps most familiarly in the manufacture of soft drink cans.

Bauxite—a rock in which aluminum is found in high concentrations.

Cardboard—a thin, stiff material made of paper pulp and used in making cartons and other forms of packaging.

Cullet—clean, generally color-sorted, crushed glass used to make new glass products.

Fibers—the long, thick-walled cells that give strength and support to plant tissue. The fibers of wood and cloth are used in making paper.

Glass—hard, brittle, generally transparent or translucent material typically formed from the rapid cooling of liquefied minerals. Most commercial glass is made from a molten mixture of soda ash, sand, and lime.

Metal—an element that usually has a shiny surface, is a good conductor of heat and electricity, and can be melted down, fused, or hammered. Metals include iron, gold, sodium, copper, magnesium, tin, and aluminum.

Paper—a thin material made of pulp from wood, rags, or other fibrous materials and used for writing, printing, or wrapping.

Plastic—a material made from petroleum capable of being molded, extruded, or cast into various shapes. There are many different kinds of plastic made from different combinations of compounds.

Pulp—a mixture of fibrous material such as wood, rags, and paper, that is ground up and moistened to be used in making paper or cardboard.

Steel—a strong, durable material made of iron and carbon, and often other metals, to achieve different properties. Steel is often used as a component in cans and as a structural material in construction.

Tin—a soft silver-white metallic element, capable of being easily molded and having a low melting point. Tin is often used together with other metals in making cans for packaging.

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