using materials that would otherwise be waste to manufacture new materials. For questions specifically on [upcycling] use that tag, for questions on [reuse] use that tag.
Recycling is where items are treated or processed into a mass raw material to be manufactured into a new product (whether or not the new material is the same as the original one). Often recycling results products of lesser quality than the originals which is also called 'downcycling', but upcycling is possible.
Recycling is distinct from reuse, where items are simply used again.