For most people, recycling is simply tossing your bottles, cans and paper into a red bin (or cart) and placing it at the curb. However, for recycling leader Rumpke, recycling is taking the more than 700,000,000 pounds of material our customers place at the curb each year, sorting it out by type and shipping it off to a network of manufacturers to turn those bottles, cans and paper into new products. And thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we can sort the recyclables we receive daily in a matter of minutes.
At our Columbus, Ohio, recycling center, Rumpke is using high-tech equipment called optical sorters to separate items such as plastic bottles and cartons from the mix.
In the simplest terms, the optical sorters use light beams to identity recyclables by type. Once the material is identified, air jets will blow the material to a separate conveyor belt. You can see the optical sorters and the other advanced technology in place at the Columbus recycling center here.
Rumpke will also be using optical sorters at its Cincinnati, Ohio, facility, which is slated to reopen in fall 2013.
About the author: Molly Yeager is the Senior Corporate Communications Coordinator for Rumpke.