Going Green: Recycling is Cool

What Happens To Recycled Materials In Indy?
Going Green - Recycling

Many of us put our recyclables down at the end of our driveway every week. But what happens after it gets picked up?

In this edition of Going Green, Kelly shows us the process that your bin of recyclables goes through.

It's a fascinating process and really the best part is that your recyclables are NOT going to the dump. Kelly had the opportunity to visit Ray's Trash Recycling Facility and it's impressive.

Calvin Davidson, Ray's Trash Service Project Manager, said this is the area where your material that you put at the end of your drive way ends up. "This is the area where the trucks deliver, the bottles, cans, newspaper, cardboard, magazines, things like that."

Then the items are head to the sorting area.

Davidson, said "this is where we are also looking for the large objection's materials, the things that shouldn't be included in your recycling. This is a quick pick. It's really moving fast. A lot of folks doing what they can to clean the system up. Clean the material up before it enters the rest of the system."

Part of the sorting area includes the Eddy Current.

Davidson said that the" Eddy Current removes the aluminum. The Eddy Current is the introduction of a high frequency magnet field that repels the aluminum cans. So, if you watch the aluminum on the belt, the aluminum appears to jump off the belt, as it exits."

Everything is separated and it's all shipped out.

"Even the steel cans that we separate go through the steel mill. The aluminum goes to aluminum smelters, the paper goes to paper mills and that's why it's so important to keep the material clean", according to Davidson.

Calvin explains how a Tide bottle has different ways to be recycled.

"here's a good example of where recycled material is used, downstream, after it's sorted and recovered. You can slice the bottle open and expose the interior. So this liner is a lighter orange color. That's actually the recycled material. It's a multi-layered bottle. The darker is the fresh, the virgin material that's layered on the outside so there's more recycle content to that container than there is virgin resin. So it's a good example of recycled material."

Every recyclable factory has their own rules of what they'll accept.

"A common item that we cannot recycle," according to Davidson, "is the clamshell take out box that you often get that's a foam like product or the egg carton containers that are a foam type product. So, think about bottles or cans, cardboard, paper, those are a good definition or a good threshold for recyclability."

Recycling is so important to our environment.