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?
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.