On Friday, November 19th four UUA staff members toured Casella’s zero-sort recycling facility in Charlestown, MA. Here’s a recap of our trip for everyone who couldn’t attend:
Zero-sort is one word for single-stream recycling, as opposed to double stream where paper/cardboard is separated from glass/plastic. It is easier for the average person to not have to sort recycling, but to be able to put it all into one container. Data shows that in areas where single-stream recycling is available volume tends to go up drastically.
It’s amazing the various methods they use to separate the different kinds of recyclable material. The material is pushed onto a moving belt which has certain sized roller/slots that shake to capture a certain size of material. There are also optical sorts which have computers sending light rays down to the material and back up to the computer-when they detect what it is, 160 air jets can shoot it across a divider gap into one stream or it will fall down the gap to another belt. (more…)