Friday, March 13, 2015

Photographs by Catherine Berman '15

Catherine Berman followed the trash crew a couple of weeks ago, using the objects we recovered from the landfill as the subject of her photo series. Thanks for bringing glory to these rejected objects. Here are some samples of her work:

Sunday, March 1, 2015

This is What Happens to Your Recyclables

Last (7th) week, a group of Carleton students and faculty took a trip to the Dick's Sanitation mixed recycling facility. The staff there gave us a brief presentation and showed us around.

Here are some pictures from the tour:  
The company has cameras all over the facility to help monitor and ensure safety. Some of the footages can be remotely accessed.

Put on your helmets and earplugs. Let's head inside!

During the Tour

Trucks are weighed before and after they pick up the recyclables to measure how much they have collected. 13 to 16 tons of recyclables go through this facility daily. 

An overview of the facility

This machine separates the cardboard from everything else by grabbing on to the cardboards and moving them up as the wheels turn; other materials fall through the gaps between the wheels and gets sorted later.
Though most of the sorting is done by machines, plastics are organized into the right categories by these workers.

There is a compressor for each type of recyclables. A ground manager controls the compressor.
A close up of compressed aluminum cans. Did you drink one of these?
 These blocks are ready to be shipped out. 

To learn more, you can watch this video DSI made:

Here are some interesting facts about recyclings to end the post with:
1. Cardboards have the most consistent price and the highest demand.
2. It only takes 30 days for recycled aluminum cans to be back on the shelf.
3. Recycling facilities nationwide are losing money daily because they are unable to sell the large quantities of recycled glass in storage. Unless people come up with an efficient way of reusing the glass, it might end up in the landfill!