SALT LAKE CITY – The Waste Management plant on 900 South processes 12 tons of recyclables per hour. But once they complete a major upgrade to the recycling plant, 35 tons of bottles, cans, and cardboard will flow through the facility every 60 minutes.
The recycling plant manager Walt Mathiason says the company plans to spend $16 million to install several optical sensors that can detect more materials that could be recycled.
“We’ll be able to really increase the amount of material that we can recycle. [And better sort] the good stuff from the bad stuff and market it as clean, recyclable commodities,” Mathiason says.
They will also install better sorters, updated screens to prevent plastic bags and Christmas lights from clogging up the machines, and three new bailers so items can be shipped faster.
Mathiason says many places still want recyclable goods, even though China, India, and Malaysia recently restricted their markets.
“Overseas we’re shipping to Vietnam, to Korea, to Indonesia. And then for aluminum and plastic [there are] plenty of domestic customers,” Mathiason says.
Salt Lake City contracts with Waste Management for its recycling needs. Because of the increased volume, the company and the city hope to be able to take in more recycling from other parts of the state.
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