Plastic bags have been causing damage and disruption at a Spokane, Wash., recycling center.
The Spokane Material and Recycling Technology (SMaRT) Center has employed human sorters—in addition to its machinery—to sort through contaminants in its recycling stream. The center has been forced to stop operations every two hours or so to flush its system of plastic bags and other improperly recycled items. According to the company, the problem is so pervasive that it has become impossible to keep up.
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The Spokane Material and Recycling Technology (SMaRT) Center receives thousands of plastic bags on a daily basis, resulting in a significant decrease in efficiency and lasting damage to its machinery.
The center is forced to halt operations almost every two hours to flush the system of plastic bags – along with a myriad of other improperly recycled items.
“Plastic bags are such an issue for a recycling facility like ours because they wrap around our sorting equipment, and they can shut us down and cause us to stop our entire sorting process just to sort out those screens,” said Steven Gimpel, recycling education and outreach coordinator for Waste Management.