Quick switch to single streamMarBorg runs MSW through the automated sorting circuit throughout the day, and it sorts single stream recyclable material during the second shift. The circuit only shuts down for approximately 30-45 minutes to allow workers time to clean the screens and change Autosort’s recipes to single stream sorting. “It takes less than five minutes with a couple of workers to change the sorting configuration on each machine,” comments Fix.
When running single stream, workers increase feed material conveyor belt speed through the circuit. Currently, the facility sorts and recovers five different spec recyclable plastic products, cardboard, aluminum and paper. “I like that we can shoot on both wood and plastics using the same technology,” says Coulter.
The recovered recyclable material helps to defray the Resource Center’s annual operating costs. “The recovered products generate approximately $6 million in sales annually. Although the facility is not self-sustaining, it lowers the facility’s operating costs,” offers Johnston.
More importantly, the Resource Center is achieving its goal of diverting material from the landfill. This extends life of the Tajiguas landfill and puts off the need to expand or site another landfill. “Between sorting MSW and single stream, our goal is achieving a diversion rate of approximately 80%,” adds Coulter.
Also, to comply with a portion of California SB 1383, the innovative Resource Center has created an Education Center, where they open the facility to groups of people ranging from school-age students to senior citizens. Each year, the facility sees more than 1,000 visitors tour the Education Center to learn more about waste and recycling.
“We have turned this facility into a real community resource,” concludes Johnston. “Trash is a great launching point for talking about the environment. We want people to see how we live our lives impacts waste generation, and how the facility reduces that waste through recycling. It’s a discussion we all need to have.”