Flood Brothers Recycling Diagram

Some quick facts:

  • Americans generate trash at an average rate of 4 lbs. per person, per day. That adds up to 600,000 tons PER DAY, or 210 million tons each year.
  • Americans throw away enough office paper EVERY YEAR to build a 12 foot high wall from Seattle to New York.
  • Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles EVERY HOUR.
  • Americans use 100 billion plastic bags every year. That’s one bag per person EVERY DAY.
  • Almost half of the food in the U.S. goes to waste. Approximately 3,000 pounds of food are thrown away EVERY SECOND.

We only have one earth, and everything we have stays right here on the planet. The next time you throw something away, remember it’s not going away, it’s just going SOMEWHERE ELSE.

Where does it all go?

After Flood Brothers completes our pickups, we haul everything to a transfer station for sorting. TRASH goes to one area, and RECYCLING goes to another.


Trash is sorted into three main categories:

1.     Items that can be converted from waste into energy and burned for fuel.

2.     Items that can be composted (such as organic waste).

3.     Items that go to a landfill. As you can imagine, we’re trying to make this category as small as possible. The less that ends up in a landfill, the better for our planet.


Recycling items are sorted for reuse:

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Glass
  • Tin cans
  • Aluminum
  • Plastic

Two 18,000 sq. ft. buildings utilize the latest Action Vibratory Equipment technology for maximum recovery. We receive, sort and process hundreds of tons of non-hazardous recyclables every day. The sorted material is positioned on a conveyor system that bales them into packages to be sold as raw materials. Any material not baled is sold in bulk to dealers who then sell it to manufacturing companies.

Construction Waste:

Construction waste should be placed in dumpsters (not the trash container or recycling bin). We have many sizes of dumpsters available and compactors for easy removal. We haul the dumpsters to construction recycling centers for sorting and processing. Wood is recycled to create pallets or chipped up to create chipboard. Cement is crushed and recycled for future road-building material.

Electronics, oil and paint:

It is illegal to place these items in the trash, recycling bins, or dumpsters. Please call Flood Brothers to arrange for a special pickup. Many municipalities and counties, including Kane County, have e-waste and paint collection events. Items collected are sent to companies that specialize in handling these sensitive materials and recycling the components properly.

What are some things you can do to help?

1.     Reduce the amount of stuff you use.
For example, take your own bag to the grocery store. Refill water bottles instead of always buying new.

2.     Recycle as much as you can.
See our list of items that can be recycled. See recycleacrossamerica.org for more recycling information.

3.     Don’t throw away those leftovers!
Start composting. You can use the compost to fertilize your flowers or vegetable garden.


What is Flood Brothers doing to lead the way?

We’re always on the lookout for ways to move the traditional linear “make, use, dispose” waste management model to a circular system of a never-ending “recycle and reuse.” Our focus is transitioning from “waste management disposal” to “recovering valuable resources.”

While it’s most efficient for recyclable items to be pre-sorted by the customer at curbside, we also take advantage of the latest technology to recover more post-use resources directly from the municipal solid waste. For example, optical scanners “see” and open garbage bags that may contain recyclable contents. Our materials recovery facilities (MRFs) help divert more of the waste stream from entering landfills by maximizing the recovery of reusable materials.

Smart waste management is good for the environment and future generations. Consumers will save money, companies will spend less on raw goods, and we’ll live in a cleaner, greener world.


Additional information & resources: