Recycling Process


Residential recyclables are collected curbside by the City’s contractor, ABC Sanitary Hauling. The residential program serves all single-family through four-plex housing units - about 8,500.  ABC Sanitary Hauling also collects the City’s multifamily housing units in Urbana, serving about 10,000 units.

A “single-stream” collection method is used, where acceptable papers and containers can be mixed together. 

Ready for Sorting

After collection, recyclables are brought to ABC’s facility in Champaign, and emptied onto the tip floor for sorting. Large pieces of cardboard are the first materials sorted and segregated for baling. Then a small end loader scoops up the remaining recyclables and places them onto a sorting line where workers hand sort materials by type - Aluminum, Steel, Glass, Plastic Resin Types and Paper (Mixed Paper, Newspaper, Books, Paperboard).

Loaded onto a Conveyer

After recyclables are sorted by material or resin type, they are loaded onto a conveyer that loads recyclables into the baling chamber.

Bales & More Bales

Commingled recyclables that entered the building will be sorted, baled and ready for shipment to markets and ultimately remanufactured into new products.  ABC Sanitary Hauling acts as a broker and sells materials to recyclers regionally. 

Where Do the Recyclables Go (End Markets)

ABC does not sell recyclable commodities directly to mills or end users. Instead, they market commodities to brokers and/or other processors both locally and regionally as listed below (markets are subject to change). Currently most of the recyclables that ABC Sanitary collects in the U-Cycle programs are sent to Midwest Fiber headquartered in Normal, IL. 


Aluminum & Steel (Tin)

Mack’s Twin City Recycling, Urbana IL


Steel is remanufactured into new steel products


More than 90% of aluminum cans are turned into aluminum cans again after the remelting process – but there are other applications as well including outdoor furniture, car parts, etc.


Gl  Glass 

       Strategic Materials, Chicago IL (for the manufacture of fiberglass insulation)


Local Artists 


     Newspaper, Cardboard & Other Paper

      Midwest Fiber, Normal, IL – sends most paper to mills in the Midwest (Chicago, Pekin, Wisconsin, Indiana & Kentucky)

Home - Midwest Fiber (


Remanufactured into new paper products depending on paper grade – newspaper is highest grade and de-inked, pulped, and made into new paper.


Lower grade paper products – some writing paper, envelopes, etc. remanufactured into toilet paper, blown insulation for homes, etc.


Cardboard is remanufactured into new cardboard/paper board products – toilet roll holders, paper towel roll holders, boxes and food box containers.


Plastics (#1 PET)


Midwest Fibers sends its plastics to mills mainly located in the Midwest; for #1 plastics such as soda bottles or food bottles, recycled plastic resins are remanufactured into new products such as carpet, fleece, sleeping bags, clothing insulation, and backpacks.


One example of an end market manufacturer:

                       Mohawk Industries, Summerville,GA (makes recycled carpeting)



Plastics (#2 - 7)


Midwest Fiber sends #2-7 plastics to manufacturers for remanufacture as plastic lumber, play sets, new bottles, buckets, containers, sports equipment or drainage piping.


One example of an end market manufacturer:

Haviland Drainage Products, Haviland, OH (makes drainage pipes)

- Last Modified -March 20, 2024 - 12:10pm
- Author - Visitor