Waste Pro’s 15th Street Facility
The City of Sarasota has contracted with Waste Pro for the handling of its recycling. Each building on GGP should confirm that it uses the City’s recycling, in which the following rules apply. You can check the City of Sarasota’s website by clicking here.
Waste Pro’s recycling is taken to its facilities on 15th Street. This facility handles single stream recycling.
This means that a resident can comingle recyclables, such as plastics, aluminum cans, papers. Trucks transfer the comingled waste to the floor of the facility where a front loader moves the waste onto 2 story high conveyor system. The conveyor begins a sorting process that relies on both high tech equipment and manual labor.
The process begins with the conveyor’s early pre-sort stage which uses laborers to separate large boxes and to pull out contaminants. Contaminants in recycling refers to anything that will make material unrecyclable-- plastic bags, plastic toys, or plastic coated cardboard, for instance.
After the pre-sort stage, the materials go through a gross beater, which rotatesheavy materials to the bottom, and does further sorting. The plastic bottles and aluminum eventually go through an optical sorter. An optical scanner identifies aluminum cans, for example, which go over a roller which flips them over the other materials below.
At the end of the process, the materials are sorted and compressed into separate bales, and the bales are lined up in categories. These categories include: aluminum cans, cardboard, mixed paper, colored hard plastics (such as detergent or fabric softener bottles), PET (the plastics with a #1), a “3 to 7 plastics” (the plastics numbered 3, 4, 5 6, and 7), and steel cans. At various critical points in this process, workers stand on the line sorting out the items that don’t belong.
Some of the bales can be incinerated and used for power. The recycled plastic (#2) is valuable as it can be used for decking and building materials.
How can we do our part? The most helpful thing would be to know what can and can’t be recycled: Materials that can be recycled include: Paper, Cardboard, Newspapers, Aluminum, including aluminum foil, steel and plastic containers.
Materials that can’t be recycled and can destroy a batch are:
• Plastic Bags. Plastic bags can’t go in city recycling. If you tie up other recyclables like newspapers, bottles and cans in a plastic bag, the wholebag gets thrown out-- you’ve just taken recyclables and turned it into trash. Keep all plastic bags, baggies, dry cleaner bags, packing material plastic out of recycling.
• Waxed Cardboard. sKeep these out, including juice and milk containers and six pack holders of beer that have waxed cardboard, or envelopers with bubble wrap glued inside. The wax or plastic can’t be separated from the paper so the entire item becomes trash.
* Styrofoam is not recyclable
• Hard Plastic like toys are not recyclable.
• Organics — keep food and drink out of all your recyclables. It just gunks up the works and lowers the quality of any recycling bale.
• Pool Chemical containers Although they are in plastic, the chemicals make that plastic dangerous in recycling lines. Keep them out.
• Batteries- keep all batteries out-- backups for computers, car batteries, small batteries.
• Propane Tanks of any size- whether large or smaller such as camping stoves or torches.