Ask Joe: Single-stream recycling process

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Updated: 2/18 6:31 pm
Question:

Mark Gonda wrote in asking about the new system. He wants to know that we just throw our reyclables into one can, how does Waste Management separate out all the different kind of materials like paper, glass and aluminum?

Answer:

I checked with Sarah Polito over at Waste Management about this.
She says the materials collected for recycling are taken to their Greg Street facility where they are baled and then trucked to a larger facility for processing.
The materials are sorted by hand as they pass through on a conveyor belt.
Once they are sorted that way, then they get fed through a series of screens that filter the larger pieces from the smaller ones.
There is also system of magnets that is used to pick out the aluminum cans as they pass by.
So it's a multi-step process that depends both on mechanical systems and humans to separate out the reyclables before they are baled and shipped out.
By the way about 60 percent of the material ends up getting shipped overseas. The rest is recycled domestically. But it is important to point out everything that you do recycle does get made into new products.
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Kramer - 2/19/2014 1:06 PM
0 Votes
See thorm's concise comment; && besides the boondoggle, Joe- magnets don't 'pick out' aluminum. This was a bad deal for homeowners, misses many commercial operations, and limits choices. Meanwhile, WM gets the gravy!!

thorm - 2/18/2014 8:41 PM
1 Vote
In a nut shell Reno residents pay more money for Waste Management to pick up less garbage, ship in bulk to City of Sparks to be baled and shipped to Lodi California facility to improve the California economy. Furthermore,the Reno City Council only wanted .42 cents per ton for the recyclable materials, tremendously less than the west coast average of $30.00!! Residents and City are both losers in this deal!! GREAT JOB! Mr, Aiazzi, Mr Dortch, Mr Cashell, Ms. Sferazza-Ralston, Mr Hascheff and Mr Gustin. Ms Zadra was the only member voting NO to the Single Stream Franchise..
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