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Upcycling vs Recycling: What’s Better For Your Waste?

recycle vs upcycle

What’s the difference between recycling and upcycling? Take a guess…

…now let’s see if you were right:

  • Recycling: The process of breaking down recyclable waste into smaller pieces so that it can be remade into something of equal or lesser value.
  • Upcycling: A very traditional form of recycling that turns any type of non-organic waste into something of higher value/quality.

If you already understand the differences, then there’s a high likelihood that you’ve already got a solid understanding of waste collection and diversion. You may have even upcycled before!

If that wasn’t the case and you guessed wrong, then that’s even better because you’ll be open to some of our suggestions. CleanRiver has been providing recycling solutions for offices, small to large businesses, and everything in between for 30+ years. It’s safe to say that through our extensive use of recycling programs, we’ve mastered recycling.

Upcycling on the other hand takes a very dedicated approach to master. If you’ve never tried upcycling, it can be difficult to get started. The best examples of upcycling we’ve had on our blog so far are very simple versions of it in the form of easy recycling school projects for kids and festive winter recycling crafts.

When it comes to upcycling vs recycling, it’s typically more beneficial to recycle. However, if you’re looking for a new hobby or just something to do for the rest of the winter months… click here for a collection of interesting upcycling projects you can try out.

Recycle vs Upcycle

Upcycling takes a bit of creativity to fully repurpose items at the supposed end of their use. Sometimes it’s better to simply recycle an item. The reason why certain materials are better to recycle rather than upcycle comes down to how the commercial recycling plants in your area repurpose recyclables.

For example, if you have an empty container of laundry detergent made out of high-density polyethylene (HDPE, or 2 under the resin identification code found on the container). That item is difficult to upcycle into something more useful than it would be repurposed into at the recycling facility. (Our CleanRiver commercial recycling bins are made of recycled HDPE).

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Even if you’re a master of upcycling, recycling, or donating the items will always be easier. Many community donation centers will find great uses for your old clothes, glassware, and even cardboard boxes in some cases!

While we prepare for another spring cleaning season, maybe take a mental note when you’re sorting your living space to either donate, recycle, or upcycle the things you don’t want to keep. If you’d like to get a head start, here are 3 spring cleaning and recycling tips that will make your life easier.

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Looking for more recycling program tips? Check out these other blogs:

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CleanRiver Recycling provides a variety of innovative, flexible, and customizable recycling solutions. Start saving money today with our green recycling programs.

If you have additional questions that weren’t answered in this blog post please call us at 1-866-479-4038 or email solutions@cleanriver.com

 

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