Where does our recycling go?

Whether at home, school, work or play, the materials you recycle make their way to a nearby recycling facility, and then off to a buyer to be turned into new products. You may be surprised that recyclable material buyers are closer than you think.

Here are some examples of Minnesota manufactures that uses recycled materials to make new products.

Paper and cardboard

  • Rock Tenn, St. Paul – Nearly half of the paper recycled in Minnesota is done at this facility where they make liner board 
  • Liberty Paper, Becker  recycles cardboard boxes into new paper
  • New Page Corp, Duluth – Uses recycled paper fiber and pulp to make new paper products like educational books, and business documents 

Plastic bottles and jugs

Plastic bottles and jugs are chipped, shredded, and cleaned before making their way to a manufacturer. 

Water and pop bottles

  • Advanced Extrusion, Rogers - Food and consumer packaging 

Recycled plastic HDPE 

  • Armadillo deck,  Albany — Makes composite decking
  • By the Yard, Jordan — Lawn and garden furniture
  • Bedford, Worthington — Makes recycled plastic lumber

Cars, cans and appliances

  • Edco, Hopkins — Makes steel siding and roofing

Aluminum is smelted and turned into ingots for use in a variety of applications, such as new cans, cars and signs.

  • Mankato Iron, Mankato
  • Spectro Alloys, Rosemount
  • Gopher Sign, St. Paul 


Made with recycled glass and no VOC resin. 

  • Rust Brothers, Minneapolis

Other ways to recycle MORE 

HTML icon Minnesota Materials Exchange connects businesses that have reusable goods with those who can use them.

Recycling Markets Directory lists Minnesota businesses that accept large (commercial) quantities of recyclables.

MPCA offers technical, financial, and marketing assistance to Minnesota businesses looking develop uses for recycled materials. To learn more, visit MPCA's Recycling market development program.