In 2016, the worlds’ cities generated 2.01 billion tonnes of solid waste, is expected to increase by 70% from 2016 levels to 3.40 billion tonnes in 2050.
Oct 5, 2019
So what now?
After knowing this stat, you must be wondering what to do about it, how to properly utilize all these waste and before that, where and how these waste is being recycled everyday.
Let's take a quick look at the process.
Step#1: Waste are Transported to MRF
All the waste is transported to MRF (Material Recover Facilities) via trucks and dumped onto recycling bays. Large cranes then transfer these to conveyor belts in regular amounts so that non-recyclable material can be removed manually.
Step#2: Manual Removal of Specific Items
MRF workers then handpick general waste such as cardboard, plastic bags, toys, and metal items.
Step#3: Separate Light and Heavy Materials
Once the lot is inserted into a special shaft with rotating discs, the lighter materials move forward while the heavier ones move backwards. After the lighter materials are removed, a secondary series of screening separates the glass from the remaining heavy materials and is transported off to glass recycling plant for further sorting.
Step#4: Magnetic Materials Removal
A series of powerful rotating magnets lifts the steel products and moves them to a separate container. Electromagnetic technology produces an eddy current which repels aluminum, removing them into another container.
Step#5: Infrared Scan Sorting
Infrared cameras scan items on the conveyor belt. It detects plastic bottles and determines their type. Precision jets of air then expel the different plastic items into separate areas.
Step#6: Final Manual Sorting
All remaining plastic types from the remaining waste are separated by hand and sent to storage facilities.
Materials such as plastic, steel, aluminum and paper are compressed into bales at the Recovery Facility. And those are transported to companies which use these materials to produce new items.