The recycling process begins with you deciding to recycle. Recyclables are collected, prepared, and then placed in the proper recycling collection location, whether that be a bin in a curbside recycling program, a local recycling center, or one of the many other recycling collection avenues. From there, the recyclables are collected by the recycling program provider and taken to a Material Recovery Facility (ie: a recyclable processing center).
Some Material Recovery Facilities may accept a single type of recyclable while others accept a variety (this is called single stream recycling, as all different types of recyclables are collected through a 'single stream', with no need for separation). Single stream locations sort the recyclables into different groups so that similar materials may be processed together. Once the recyclables have been made into raw materials once more, they are packed and sold to facilities that will use them to make new goods.
Below is a video that takes you through the process at one type of Materials Recovery Facility.