With more homeowners concerned about recycling and environmental care, rubbish management is becoming a top concern in many homes. Indeed, it is important to understand how recyclable rubbish is collected from the home and how it undergoes the sorting process.

Garbage Trucks Bring the Rubbish

When recyclables arrive at recyclable centres, they are in two groups; paper products and containers. As general protocol, once garbage trucks enter the recyclable centre, they are monitored and tracked to determine the weight of the materials on board, what type of materials they are, and where they are from. Recycling trucks are divided into two compartments to keep the paper and the containers separate during collection. When the trucks arrive, they unload recyclables onto a sectioned tipping floor. These tipping floors are divided to keep the papers and containers separate.

The Garbage Goes Through Processing Lines

Recyclable centres also have two processing lines that run through the whole facility. These processing lines never meet so as to ensure the proper sorting of recyclables. If papers and containers are mixed when they are picked up from your home, they have to be removed manually from the processing lines.

Processing line systems are designed to separate paper into different grades, such as cardboard and newsprint. They are not designed to separate paper from containers.

Everything Goes in Sorting Containers

Containers are sorted through a number of stages. These include:

1. Belt Magnet: The first materials to be sorted out are the steel containers. The sorting is done by a big rotating belt magnet. The belt is magnetized as the containers travel under a powerful magnet. Consequentially, the steel is pulled up and sticks to the rotating belt as the other containers carry on past the magnet. When the steel containers reach this point, the belt is demagnetized and the steel cans drop down into a conveyer that transfers them to a steel storage bunker. Once the bunker is full, the steel is fed into a baler, and then shipped in transport trucks to a steel manufacturer.

2. Air Classifier: This next step of sorting is done by weight. The heavier materials like glass drop down, while the plastics, aluminium cans and milk cartons are blown up by an air stream. The lightweight materials travel through the perforator and they are punctured and flattened. This makes storage more efficient. It also makes sorting much easier because the flattened materials won't roll around in the conveyors.

3. Optical Sorter: This machine is programmed to identify different types of plastic based on the chemical composition. It's called an optical sorter because it has an infrared light that sees and identifies every material as it passes under the light. The optical sorter is equipped with air jets that blow the remaining different types of containers to the final container sort room. The recyclables are then sorted and directed for final use.

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