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  • Boulder County Recycling Center, Boulder, Colorado presents:

  • Single-Stream Recycling-Leading the Way to Zero Waste

  • Okay, to the left of the plastic bottleÖmove the paperÖgo AROUND the cereal box and VOILA!

  • Fresh air at last!

  • I know, youíre wondering what a nice aluminum can is doing in a bin with all these other

  • materials! Well, it just makes sense because each and

  • every one of us can be made into new products again and againÖ

  • I'm going to be an orange soda pop in my next life!...

  • Weíre all in here together because the Boulder County Recycling Center allows you to RECYCLE

  • all of us together! Itís called ìSingle-Stream Recyclingî and itís so simple, EVERYONE

  • can take part in helping the planet!

  • Single-Stream Recycling: Leading the Way to Zero Waste

  • Welcome to the amazing Boulder County Recycling Center! This place is chock full of state-of-the-art

  • equipment that takes in recyclable materials all mixed together from your homes, schools

  • and businesses. The materials are then sorted, screened, shaken and baled so they can be

  • resold and made into new products.

  • So put on your hard hats and letís see how it all works!

  • Paper Sorting System

  • It all begins out here on the Tipping Floor where bottles, cans and paper are dropped

  • off by the truckload.

  • Powerful loaders then push all this stuff onto one conveyor belt leading to the main

  • facility where the sorting process begins! SIZE is a big deal at the Boulder County Recycling

  • Center and the first part of the sorting system separates the very BIG from the very SMALL.

  • The First Presort

  • First, the BIG things get pulled out at ìThe First Presortî, or what I like to call ìThe

  • Big BAD Thing Removerî!

  • These quick-handed people go through all this and pull out larger BAD things that are very

  • damaging to the recycling system as well as those things that are NOT recyclable. The

  • non-recyclable items are sent straight to the landfill, so PLEASE help up by only recycling

  • the materials listed in your recycling guidelines.

  • Corrugated Cardboard Screen

  • After those BAD things are removed at the First Presort, the big pieces of CARDBOARD

  • are separated out. The materials bounce and flip and rock and roll over the ìCorrugated

  • Cardboard Screenî and at the top, the large pieces of cardboard drop off the end to the

  • floor where they get nicely baled up and sold to companies who make new things out of old

  • cardboard!

  • As thatís happening, the smaller materials, like me, fall through the screen and onto

  • a series of conveyor beltsÖthat take us BACK into the tipping hall!

  • Hummpf. Whoooeee! This is better than a good workout at the gym!

  • The Fines Screen

  • So, weíve taken out the biggest materials, now itís the littlest pieces turn to be taken

  • out at ìThe Fines Screenî. These ìfinesî are mostly tiny pieces of broken glass so

  • at the Fines Screen, the broken glass gets removed from paperÖand thatís important!

  • Itís also important that these sharp little pieces come out so they donít cut up the

  • conveyor belts. All these little pieces are sent to the Container Sorting System, which

  • ll show you LATER. But for now, weíll stick with the bigger materials on the Paper

  • Sorting Line as they arrive atÖThe Second Presort!

  • Second Presort

  • The Second Presort is a lot like the First Presort. Here, more busy hands work to pull

  • out MORE materials that either arenít recyclable at all or that canít be recycled at this

  • facility, like these stringy things and plastic bags which are also sent straight to the landfill!

  • Plastic bags are some of the worst contaminants at the recycling center so please, instead

  • of bagging recyclables or sending your plastic bags here, take them to participating grocery

  • stores OR the Eco-Cycle/ City of Boulder ìCenter for Hard to Recycle Materialsî, also known

  • as CHARM.

  • And hereís a hint! Make sure the bags are clean and dry when you drop them off or theyíll

  • STILL end up in the landfill!

  • Or better yet! Avoid using plastic bags all together by bringing your own reusable bag

  • to the store!

  • Back on the lineÖin addition to pulling out non-recyclable materials, these workers also

  • sort out the remaining smaller pieces of cardboard and paperboard like cereal and shoe boxes,

  • which are dropped down dark chutes, baled and sent to market to make new products! Take

  • it away, good buddy!

  • Double Deck Paper Screen

  • After going through the Second Presort, the materials head to the ìScreensî, or more

  • specifically, the fancy ìDouble-Deck Paper Screensî!

  • Remember how the first part of the sorting process was to separate the very BIG from

  • the very SMALL? Well, here at the Paper Screens, weíre separating the CONTAINERS from the

  • PAPER. Hereís how it worksÖ

  • The Double-Deck Paper Screens separate flat objects, like paper, from round, or 3-dimensional

  • objects such as plastic bottles, steel cans, milk and juice cartons and aluminum cans,

  • like me!

  • The flat papers are what we call ëmountain climbersí. They literally climb up layer

  • after layer of specially designed rubber disks all the way to the top deck.

  • But (puff, puff) containers like me (puff, puff) canít climb the rubber disks. Weíre

  • more like ëboulders in the middle of an avalancheí and we FAAALLLLL backwards onto another screen.

  • Meanwhile, at the top deck, the clean paper takes a flying leap off the end and onto a

  • conveyor belt leading to quality control stations where workers remove any remaining contamination.

  • Paper making it past THESE folks heads to a bunker and waits patiently to be baled and

  • sent to paper markets!

  • Oh! And by the way, since this equipment is sorting flats from rounds, itís important

  • that containers STAY round or 3D, rather than being flattened, or the equipment might confuse

  • a container for a piece of paper and send us to the wrong place!

  • Thatís why we ask you NOT to flatten plastics or cans like me! And please be sure to ball

  • your aluminum foil rather than flattening it!

  • But back at the Double-Deck Paper Screens where all of us containers fell back while

  • the paper kept climbing. We didnít quite get ALL the paper and containers separated

  • so we do the whole process over again on the bottom deck. Even after THAT, we still have

  • some paper with us, so we need to climb one last mountainÖI mean, SCREENÖand this time,

  • weíre talking about the ìBanana Screenî!

  • Yeppp, this screen is a much steeper climb than the first two, but donít worry, because

  • HERE, the paper has some HELP with the climbÖthe air system!

  • The air system provides air that blows against the paper. That helps the paper stick to the

  • star-disks so they can climb to new heights and up, up and away over the top!

  • But of course, we containers are too heavy for the air stream, so we FALLL back down

  • the screen.

  • And once again, the paper making it over the banana screen heads down a conveyor belt to

  • workers who remove contamination. ALL the cleaned paper then ends up at a giant bunker

  • where itís gathered together, baled and loaded onto rail cars outside the building. Those

  • bales are then off to market to be made into new paper products!

  • Back inside the plant, my container friends and I have gone through three screens to remove

  • the last of the paperÖexceptÖyouíll see there is SOME paper still here. SHREDDED PAPER!

  • The shredded paper fell through the cracks between the rubber disks and is still here

  • with the containers. This stuff wreaks havoc on the systems, especially once it gets wet

  • and literally glues up the works! PLEASE!...

  • Donít put your shredded paper in your recycling bin at home, at work or at school. InsteadÖ

  • compost the shred in your curbside compost bin!!

  • Container Sorting System

  • Back on the line, now that the paper is separated out, itís time for all the containers to

  • move through the Container Sorting System!

  • Here at the Container Sorting System, the containers are reunited with the ëfinesí,

  • those tiny glass pieces and other items we left waayyy back in the process.

  • Once again, it all starts with a presort station where workers check for contamination. If

  • we make the grade here, we continue on to the Cross-Belt Magnet!

  • Cross-Belt Magnet

  • The magnet removes all the steel cans from the stream and ZAP! ...discharges them into

  • their own personal bunker.

  • Air Classifier

  • Next, the light and heavy materials are separated by the Air Classifier. The heavy stuff, the

  • glass, jiggles down to the bottom. The light stuff, like plastic bottles, milk and juice

  • cartons and the beautiful aluminum cans rise to the top. A jet of air blasts across the

  • top and shoots the light materials over to our own conveyor beltÖwhee!

  • The plastics are then hand sorted by material and grade and tossed, with respect of course,

  • into the appropriate bunker. From there theyíll go to the baler and then be sold to make new

  • bottles and even materials like counter tops, carpeting and clothing.

  • Eddy Current Separator

  • And finally, itís MY turn! The aluminum cans are sent to ìThe Eddy Current Separatorî!

  • Ooh, I LOVE saying that!

  • A big magnet inside creates a current that literally propels the aluminum outta there

  • and into its own storage bin. Whew!

  • Once all these light containers have been sorted and baled, theyíre ready for shipment

  • by truck, by train and by ship to markets across the country and even around the world!

  • Air Classifier

  • And now, letís back up to the Air Classifier where the light materials were blown away.

  • The heavy materials, the glass and all those ëfinesí stay on the conveyor belt. In order

  • for glass to be resold to glass bottlers, everything that isnít glass needs to be removed.

  • Materials like ceramic dishes and plates, stones, metal pieces and other debris COMPLETELY

  • mess up the bottlersí melting process, so they MUST COME OUT! And where does this happen?

  • Drum roll pleaseÖin the ìGlass Cleaning System

  • Glass Cleaning System

  • As weíve seen with the other sorting equipment at this facility, the glass system is STILL

  • about size, so the large and small glass pieces are separated by some really fun equipment!

  • First, they go through screens, a rolling drum and then onto a bucket elevator ride!

  • Itís like a glass amusement parkÖI think Iím a little jealous. As the equipment shakes,

  • breaks and rolls, the glass is trans- formed into pieces no bigger than 2 inches across.

  • Manual Glass Sort Line

  • Yahooo! After that ride comes another group of friendly hands to remove any plastic or

  • other containers that slipped under the Air Classifier ride. But not to worry. These materials

  • are hand-delivered back to the Container Sorting System where they belong!

  • Organic Separator

  • After all that fun, the glass goes through a water mister, just like at the water park!

  • Here, a fine water mist wets the paper which sticks to a rotating drum and ta da! Glass

  • is separated from paper!

  • Fines Screen and Vacuum

  • But wait! Thereís still more cleaning to do. The glass travels through another vibrating

  • screen and under a vacuum. The vacuum sucks up any remaining small pieces of plastic and

  • paper and sends it to whatís called ìthe Cycloneî where a centrifugal force pushes

  • the paper and plastic out of the air stream and into the compactor for disposal.

  • Yes, you may think the glass is having too much fun, but now itís time for some serious

  • undercover work.

  • KSP Unit

  • It all takes place in a box called the KSP Unit where ceramicsÖ stonesÖ and porcelainÖ,

  • and additional contaminants are removed. This special unit is equipped with two optical

  • detection devices and itís the main reason the Boulder County Recycling Center produces

  • clean glass like nobody else in the business!

  • As the glass moves through the machine, special cameras watch. Light beams are shot at the

  • glass and the camera can tell if the light goes through the glass. If it doesnít, a

  • computer connected to the KSP knows the material is not glass and that it must be removed.

  • The computer signals air jets to push the non-glass materials out and into a conveyor

  • bound for the landfill. Ah ha! Gotcha!

  • Whatís left is clean glass, free from paper, porcelain, stones, ceramics and other non-glass

  • materials, that is conveyed into a storage bin and later transported to the bottle manufacturer

  • to make glass bottles. This glass sorting system is effective, but it sure took a lot

  • of energy to remove those materials that should not have been put in the recycling bin in

  • the first place!

  • Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! Compost!

  • And thatís how it all happens! The Boulder County Recycling Center is doing its part

  • to help Boulder County become a Zero Waste Community by 2025.

  • But because weíre all in this together, remember to Reduce! Reuse! Recycle and Compost!

  • Because when you do all that, youíre giving ME another chance! See you next time around!

  • Credits

  • A Boulder Channel 8 Production. Copyright 2009

Boulder County Recycling Center, Boulder, Colorado presents:

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廃棄物ゼロへの道を拓くシングルストリームリサイクル (Single-Stream Recycling -- Leading the Way to Zero Waste)

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    ykk に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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