Secrets from the Recycling Plant

Film transcript - Secrets From The Recycling Plant

In the old days, recycling glass meant turning it into this. Glass was recycled into what they call aggregate, which was used to cover landfill. Basically the glass was turned back into sand. But today because of technological advancements, more glass can be recycled back into glass.

The technology today allows us to sort glass in ways that would not be economical to do manually.

The first step is to remove small metal objects that are in there with a magnet. After going through that process, the material will go to a Eddy current, essentially a reverse magnet, which will charge any non-ferous metals in there, aluminum, bits of copper and so on, with an electric charge, and those non-ferous metals are then ejected from the stream.

We then go to a series of optical sorters. The optical sorters are identifying the glass by colour, ejecting the clear glass with air jets. What’s remaining are clear glasses conveyed into a bunker, stored there until it’s loaded into trucks to be shipped to glass bottle manufacturers.

We can’t, we just can’t get enough glass. We use approximately 150 tonnes of recycled glass daily. And we will use that to make new bottles. We receive that recycled glass and it is mixed as you would mix a cake. It goes into a very large furnace, heated at 2700 degrees, and turns into a molten glass.

That molten glass is cured through a process and then is delivered to our forming machines. You will see that glass being cut into drops or gobs, and it is formed immediately into a glass container.

It will go out on a conveyor, go through an oven, go through a lengthy inspection process automatically.

The beauty of recycling is that if you purchase on the streets of New York for example, a Snapple bottle, when turned back into a recycling bin, you will make another Snapple bottle.