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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a recycling bin (=for rubbish that you can recycle)
▪ Those plastic cartons can go in the recycling bin.
▪ School students collected tons of drinks cans and bottles for recycling.
▪ The recycling program involves every household in the neighborhood.
▪ the city's recycling program
▪ After a short while, taking paper, glass and metals for recycling becomes a habit.
▪ But it is still generally cheaper than the alternatives of incinerating or recycling.
▪ Such a move, it is suggested, would encourage water recycling.
▪ The recycling of polystyrene, for instance, requires temperatures above 200C and the materials are extensively filtered during the procedure.
▪ The truth is that obligatory recycling protects markets as well as the environment.
▪ These included waste reduction, paper and cardboard recycling and improving energy efficiency.
▪ They are of great importance not only as food for birds and mammals, but also in pollination and recycling of nutrients.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1924, verbal noun from recycle (v.). Originally a technical term in oil-refining and similar industries; its broader consumer sense dates from 1960.


n. 1 The practice of sorting and collecting waste materials for new use. 2 (context uncountable English) Those materials culled for recycling. vb. (present participle of recycle English)


n. the act of processing used or abandoned materials for use in creating new products


Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into reusable objects to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, energy usage, air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from landfilling) by decreasing the need for "conventional" waste disposal and lowering greenhouse gas emissions compared to plastic production. Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the " Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" waste hierarchy.

There are some ISO standards related to recycling such as ISO 15270:2008 for plastics waste and ISO 14001:2004 for environmental management control of recycling practice.

Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, metal, plastic, tires, textiles and electronics. The composting or other reuse of biodegradable waste—such as food or garden waste—is also considered recycling. Materials to be recycled are either brought to a collection centre or picked up from the curbside, then sorted, cleaned and reprocessed into new materials destined for manufacturing.

In the strictest sense, recycling of a material would produce a fresh supply of the same material—for example, used office paper would be converted into new office paper, or used polystyrene foam into new polystyrene. However, this is often difficult or too expensive (compared with producing the same product from raw materials or other sources), so "recycling" of many products or materials involves their reuse in producing different materials (for example, paperboard) instead. Another form of recycling is the salvage of certain materials from complex products, either due to their intrinsic value (such as lead from car batteries, or gold from circuit boards), or due to their hazardous nature (e.g., removal and reuse of mercury from thermometers and thermostats).

Usage examples of "recycling".

True to the Alaskan spirit of recycling, people quickly answered the ad I tacked up on the bulletin board at the store.

Brenda Strait at Woeful Recycling in Arapahoe County, and this is The Strait Edge.

As a matter of faith, liberals believe: Darwinism is a fact, people are born gay, child-molesters can be rehabilitated, recycling is a virtue, and chastity is not.

She was still dressed in her decontamination suit, but she was no longer wearing the helmet, the tank of compressed air, or the waste recycling unit.

No big surprise, since aside from storage and recycling equipment there were only two sleeping cabins down here, mine and the one Ixil had moved into.

Vocational Educator Larsen, or the David Larsen who paints handmade inorganic toys and designs gastrointestinal recycling worms for export to Manichean survivalists?

A Golden Steeples was right around the corner from the recycling center.

Most visitors to HQ never ventured as far as the sub-basement equipment bay at the rear of the building, an echoing, extremely unaesthetic concrete space where delivery vehicles came and went, minor civilian employees staged their hovercars during bad weather, and the crumpled and shredded trash from the rest of the building was collected and sorted for recycling.

Rinse out all cartons, cans and bottles before throwing them away or recycling them.

Steam carouseled ceilingward, sucked out through recycling vents to be recondensed and reused.

Starfleet Medical catalogue and test all the biotic material you brought back from the Borg recycling world.

Little fellers are superb for changing cellulose into sugar, or recycling carbon .

In addition, there are anywhere from five to twenty-five levels of offices, theaters, plumbing, air shafts, industrial plants, life-support machinery, recycling stations, and the like, built in shells around that inner section.

  The first stage had separated, and the Countdown clock was recycling for the second-stage burnout and jettison.

A couple of others were moving along a different gravel path toward the lifters, conveyers, and compactors in the recycling and .