Latest Republic Industries News
Aug 30, 2018
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED: I recently went on a tour. Not of some exotic place, but of Republic Industries recycling facility. Yes, I’d rather tour the Bahamas, but the recycling center was on my radar after I recently wrote about changes in recycling because China is drastically reducing its purchase of the contaminated recyclables they formerly bought from us. Republic’s yard and facilities is a sprawling 35-acre site on Blue Gum Street in Anaheim. Everything we dump in our recycle bins ends up there. Truckloads of bottles, cans, cardboard, magazines, newspapers, junk mail and those hundreds of campaign mailers that fill our mailboxes get offloaded into Republic’s approximately 100,000-square-foot Materials Recovery Facility. The facility has four sorting lines: residential, commercial, construction-demolition waste and green waste, according to Melissa Gomez, Republic’s recycling coordinator. Green waste is yard clippings plus organic or food waste. “The combined daily inbound volume is approximately 2,600 tons,” she said. The day of my tour, there was a huge mountain of debris from residential trucks. It looked as if most was recyclable items, but we spotted a tire, part of a sofa and a wire basket. None of them are recyclable and should not have ended up in the truck. Such items must be sorted out before the rest of the debris is fed into a large chute that separates heavier items, such as bottles, jars and cans from lighter items such as paper goods. Then the items go to separate conveyor belts for further sorting by hand and a cool apparatus that sucks up papers and sends them to another conveyor belt where they are further sorted. After all non-recyclable items are sorted out, the remainder is put into 1,500 pound bales. Republic’s facility produces between 400 to 500 of those bales of recyclables a day. They are stacked in the yard, ready to be trucked to the docks where they head to foreign manufacturers who use them to make new products that we will eventually purchase. Gomez noted that prior to China’s restricted ruling, the bales remain in the yard for only a couple days. Now they are there up to four weeks. Too many recyclables, however, go straight to the landfill, thanks to people who think it is a big bother to recycle, or that it takes too much time. It doesn’t. After my previous column on the new recycling rules, I heard from several people who questioned having to put empty, clean and dry items into the recycle bin. It’s not that difficult, and you don’t have to run your jars, bottles and cans through the dishwasher. Mark McGee, municipal manager of Republic Services, Inc. had a great suggestion for quickly cleaning out jars. “Just use a spatula to get the last bit of peanut butter or mayonnaise out of a jar,” McGee said. Simple enough, and you might scoop out enough to spread on a couple crackers. Ketchup and salad dressing bottles can be swished with a bottlebrush, air dried and then placed in the recycle bin. Rinsing a few bottles and jars in the sink won’t spike your water bill and will keep recyclables out of the landfill. Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. She gives her perspective on Brea issues twice a month. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the latest news delivered daily!