Whoever thought walking through a building full of trash wasn't fun, is dead wrong!! method employees, this week, were treated to a tour of the San Francisco Recycling Center. We were privy to an insider's look at what really happens to those blue garbage cans...
I should note that this recycling center in San Fran is one of a kind! It manages to recycle 90% of the material that comes through its doors! That's thanks to conscious consumers who throw their recyclables into proper receptacles, a city that cared enough to invest in an easy-to-use 3 bin system for garbage, ALL recyclables, and compost and a recycling center with the technology and manpower to devote to the daunting task of sifting through 20,000 tons of material/hour!!!!
The process itself is pretty remarkable too...the material comes through the doors as one giant (slightly smelly) mixed-up mess, and through a series of conveyor belts, which separate material according to its density (heavier glass and aluminum go down, lighter paper goes up), and real-live people who pull out the stragglers, you end up with many piles of paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, and aluminum all of which are then sent to different destinations for further recycling and re-use.
There's so much more to say about the process (look for more in later blogs), but what I was most struck by was the fact that San Francisco is the ONLY city in the United States with a recycling program that works THIS well. It's high time for some copy-catters.