How All-in-One Recycling Systems Work

Benefits of All-in-One Recycling Systems

A Mode all-in-one recycling system.
A Mode all-in-one recycling system.
Courtesy Mode Products

You can make the case that any bin kept in your kitchen for recyclables is an all-in-one recycling center. After all, throwing paper, plastic and glass into the same container constitutes an all-in-one mechanism, but there are slightly more high-tech solutions on the market.

Why buy an all-in-one recycling system in the first place? It turns out that there are plenty of benefits to having an all-in-one recycling system in your kitchen. For one thing, it's easy to use: Having a place to throw all of your waste is nice enough; having a machine that cuts down on trips outside to throw out that waste is a beautiful thing.

The all-in-one recycling system, created by American company Mode Products, features a crusher that cuts recyclables down to about one-third their size. Plastic bottles and cans are no match for the mechanical crusher located in the front of the recycling system's top. A press of a lever on the bottom of the unit activates a crusher that compacts recyclables and tosses them into the 8-gallon (30.3-liter) waste bin. Since it's mechanical, the compactor doesn't require electricity to function, which makes the unit all the more eco-friendly.

Be careful about what you put into the recycling bin. It's a bad idea to compact absolutely everything. Why? Many recycling centers outfitted with magnets and lasers to separate recyclables have trouble turning a profit from residual waste like pulverized broken glass, especially when differently colored glass shards are mixed together. Apparently, Mode Products picked up on this fact and designed their system accordingly. The rear slot in the 30-inch tall by 15-inch (38.1-centimeter) wide unit leads directly into the eight-gallon bin, so glass bottles can be added to the mix without breaking.

In the front of the unit is an awning slot that accepts paper waste like junk mail and newspapers. This slot leads to a separate, five-gallon bin for paper recyclables. So, you've got two bins for a total of 13 gallons (49.2 liters) of recyclable material. That's great, but what happens when you forget to take the bin liners to the curb for pick-up? Mode Products' all-in-one-recycling system includes an alarm that can be set to alert its owner when recycling day nears. If you're the type that likes insentient devices to remind you of what a conscientious person you are, then this all-in-one recycling system should be right up your alley. The same digital display shows a running tally (in pounds) of all of the recyclables you've fed into it over time.

If single-stream recycling and all-in-one recycling systems offer any pattern for the future, then it shouldn't be long before robots start taking our recyclables to the curb for us. No robe necessary.

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  • "Americans ring in 2009 with greener solutions." BusinessWire. December 30, 2008. (Feb.1, 2009)
  • "Mode all-in-one recycling center streamlines home recycling, eliminates kitchen clutter." Reuters. Jan.22, 2009. (Jan. 31, 2009)
  • "Premium all-in-one recycling center." Mode Products. (Jan. 31, 2009)