After they are picked up by a Department of Sanitation truck, they are taken to a Sims Municipal Recycling Facility. Next, the bottles are put on a barge and taken to the Sims Materials Recovery Facility.
At the recovery facility, the plastic bottles are loaded onto a conveyor belt, along with recycled glass and metals. Scanners help distinguish and separate the different types of plastic bottles from each other.
Next, the plastic bottles are bundled into 1,000 pound bales and sold to plastic recyclers. When the bottles arrive at these plastic bottle factories, they have their labels removed and are then washed and chopped into small pieces. These small, sanitized pieces are then melted and molded into new bottles.
These new bottles are sold to other companies that fill the bottles with whatever product they choose. The bottles are then brought to stores where people can buy them once again.
Watch a video on what happens to NYC's plastic bottles here: