San Francisco – Recycle Central, a 200,000-square-foot recycling plant designed to handle up to 2,100 tons of recyclables per day, opened for business March 5. The $38 million plant located on Pier 96 houses mechanical systems for sorting materials originating from the city’s blue cart, single-stream program. The technology uses spinning disks that send bottles and cans in one direction and paper in another. Once paper is separated, a vacuum sucks computer paper, envelopes and letterhead off conveyor belts. A magnet is used to pull steel and tin cans off the sorting belt and flip them into a large storage case. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has set a diversion goal of 75 percent for the city to reach by 2010.