Understanding the value of recycling
Annually, efforts at Graham Recycling Company divert more than 300 million plastic containers from landfills.
Our recycling company in York, Pennsylvania, is one of the largest plastic recycling facilities in the northeastern U.S. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020, the Graham Recycling Company has grown into a three-line operation that recycles #2 HDPE bottles into post-consumer resin (PCR). Facilities like ours help conserve energy and natural resources by substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions and diverting hundreds of millions of pounds of plastic from landfills.
The Recycling Process
Recycling HDPE usually begins on the curb, where waste management companies pick up recyclables and transport them to municipal recycling facilities. While HDPE material makes up 3.5% of the curbside recycling stream, it's critical to conserve and recycle all material types to contribute to a circular economy.
Once the recyclables arrive at the facility, they're sorted into like materials before being further sorted by color. Natural HDPE bottles go into one pile, while colored bottles go into another.
After sorting, the material is shaped into bales, which can be shipped to PCR recyclers like us. The cost of these bales varies widely by material type. Plus, the availability of recycled content is directly impacted by how much consumers recycle on the front end.
Our Recycling Network
Along with our recycling operation, we use a network of HDPE recyclers to meet the needs of our customers. This network allows us to adapt to changing demand for recycled plastic packaging and helps us prevent material shortages if severe weather occurs. These partnerships with other major recycling operations also help us minimize the cost and impact of freight.
Supporting Our Sustainability Goals
Having our own recycling operation to provide HDPE PCR resin has helped the packaging side of our business become one of the largest suppliers of bottle-grade sustainable packaging in North America. It’s also enabled our facility to be more sustainable in general, contributing to our larger goal of preserving our planet. Learn more about our sustainability initiatives.