Plastic bags are a daily headache for the Charleston County Recycling Center.
A bevy of workers pick out most of the bags as they move along on a conveyor belt that also carries other trash. Some bags get past the gauntlet, though, and move on to gum up rotors that separate paper for baling.
"There are just so many (plastic bags) that they can't get to them all. It does cause us to have to shut down the sorting line to pull the plastic bags out of the rotors in the machinery," said Christina Moskos, recycling coordinator.
The recycling center on Romney Street processes more than 150 tons of paper and cardboard, aluminum and steel cans and plastic daily in the form of bottles, jars, jugs, tubs and clamshell containers. Crushed materials are baled and sold.
Plastic bags separated from the waste usually end up in a landfill although sometimes they can be sold to a vendor who finds a market for them, Moskos said.