Making recycling easier for residents through single stream that allows a greater variety of items

TAMPA, Fla. - Single stream recycling in gaining momentum through communities in the bay area.

"When you've got one container to put all of your recyclables in, it's easier," said Scotte Kavanaugh, District Plant Manager for Waste Management.

And much of that recyclable material ends up here at Waste Management's 68,000 square foot state of the art Material Recovery Facility in Ybor City.
"When you put all of those papers and plastics into one container, by coming to a single stream facility such as this, we're going to take that material and separate it into various commodities," said Kavanaugh.

Everything that comes in makes its way up a conveyor belt to begin the separation process. It's also the first line of quality control to keep out unwanted items.

Cardboard dances its way to a final location; while plastics, aluminum, glass and a multitude of paper products make their way through a maze of belts, magnets and optical scanners to reach their final destination for resale.

"We call it O-N-P, which is old news paper. It's baled newspaper that we've taken out of the single stream process that people have put to their curb sides, and we've made it into a one-ton bale," Kavanaugh pointed out.

The single stream recycling plant at Waste Management processes about 500 tons of recyclable material everyday.

That equates to one million pounds of everyday used household goods that would otherwise end up in our landfills. And with facilities like this, it's easier for people to 'go green'.

"Everything you use around your household today is virtually recyclable," Kavanaugh explained.

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