Since the dawn of civilization there has always been the question of what to do with trash. Who knows when the first official trash dump site was established, but it was probably along the same time that the first civilization came about. While at that point in history there were not nearly as many plastic wrappings and paper lying about to be thrown away, they still had trash from food to human waste. In this sense, the first form of a recycling center would have been in the form of a compost pile!
New York City however was the home of the first recycling center thought of in modern terms, and this was developed at the end of the 19th century. By the 20th century cans were being use for both canned goods and beverages, and therefore the need and idea for a recycling center was becoming more and more popular. When World War II came along, the idea of recycling was peaking, as metals were a precious commodity for bullets and weapons. Some patriots were even donating their wedding rings and other important jewelry for the war cause!
There was an even greater rise during the 1970s, where many states began creating laws that forced individuals to pay cash deposits on their cans that could be returned to consumers when cans were brought to their local recycling center. This led to yet another rise of the recycling center throughout many states in the US. At this point, most individuals were still responsible for visiting their local recycling center to do their recycling. In 1974 this was all about to change however, as a city in Missouri became the first to offer a city service of recycling, just as they did for trash removal.
As a population, humans have come along way with their recycling and their recycling goals. There is now a recycling center for just about every need from steel refineries to glass refineries. Almost a quarter of the steel used in the US today has been recycled from other steel items. When tearing apart an old car, or an old building, the different parts of the item being dismantled can all be brought to a recycling center to be reused in some creative and effective way. The process needs crushing the item, heating it to an extremely high temperature, and remolding the item into something new that is needed. Often times you can find items that have been recycled simply by searching for the recycling symbol on the packaging. Since the population began to live in societies and create trash together, there has always been the question of what to do with the waste. Thousands of years later, there is finally an effective solution!