CURBSIDE RECYCLING HAPPENS IN MOST COMMUNITIES IN CUYAHOGA COUNTY.
Where does your recycling go and what happens once it’s picked up?
Unless your community requires you to keep some items separate, curbside recycling is mixed together loose in a recycling bin, bag or cart. An automated truck picks up the bin, bag or cart and empties it into a large vehicle which makes stops at many houses along the way. When the collection truck is full, it delivers the recycling to a transfer station where the materials are transferred to a larger vehicle for hauling to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). A collection vehicle may also haul directly to the MRF.
Whether your recycling is picked up by your city or a private company, recyclables from Cuyahoga County go to one of three MRFs in the area. Owned and operated by private companies (Kimble Co. in Twinsburg, Republic Services in Oberlin and Waste Management in Akron), each MRF accepts, sorts and processes tons of recyclables every day. All of these facilities accept metal cans, cartons, glass bottles and jars, mixed paper and plastic bottles.
The MRF is a large facility with many conveyors, belts and machinery. The delivery vehicle is weighed as it enters and exits. The recycling is tipped on the building floor, then scooped up by a front end loader and placed on the sorting line. Large objects and contamination are removed first. The recyclables travel through an automated sorting system which uses a disk screen, magnets, optical sorters and workers on the line to separate the materials. The sorted materials are baled and sold.