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Sponsored

What happens after my recycling is picked up?

SPONSORED

You make the effort to put your recyclables at the curb each week. Ever wonder what happens from there?

Those commingled items, which include mixed paper, fiber, plastics, aluminum, and steel, are taken directly to a materials recovery facility, or MRF, where they are sorted, processed and

prepared for shipment.

Once at the facility, the materials are unloaded onto the tipping floor and a front loader moves them to the conveyor belt.

Line workers then must remove any plastic bags, large objects, and trash for appropriate disposal. It’s an unfortunate reality that people often mix in items which cannot be recycled with those that can. And when it happens, environmental service providers and local governments must spend millions of dollars each year removing the contaminants. That’s why it is important to know before you throw.

As the process continues, cardboard is removed by a screen that uses rotating shafts with discs which propels it over the top of the discs and into a holding area. Smaller objects fall through the shafts and proceed for further separation.

A finishing screen separates objects by dimension. For instance, two-dimensional objects such as paper ride up to the top of the screen and are discharged onto a paper sorting line for further separation. Three-dimensional objects fall through the screen.

Non-fiber contaminants are removed in a quality control check with manual or optical sorting by grade.

Steel cans are moved from the stream by powerful magnets, while an eddy current separator is used to draw aluminum cans and foil from the conveyor.   Glass bottles and jars are screened out and shattered by steel discs, their shards falling below. An optical or manual sorter is used to separate plastics by type.   The crushed cans, broken glass, and bales of aluminum and plastic are then all sent to manufacturers as raw materials.

While it may seem that a materials recovery facility is just a simple sorting operation, the plant is vital to helping to preserve natural resources in an economical and efficient manner.

Advanced Disposal : 630.587.8282: www.advanceddisposal.com