Recycling Indus try Yearbook
Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.
How is Scrap Processed?
Recyclable materials need to be separated from waste materials
and sorted by their base materials. Scrap facilities and Material
Recovery Facilities/ Municipal Recovery Facilities (MRFs) are
two large examples of
where recyclables are first
processed. Scrap facilities
process scrap using a range
of capital equipment.
Typically, deliveries at
a scrap facility will be
weighed on a scale upon arrival and then be moved and
organized using equipment such as forklifts, trucks, and
material handlers. Then shredders, shears, wire choppers,
magnets, balers, and other tools will be used to break
them down into pieces and sorted by material type that are
suitable for further processing or sent to mills and factories
to manufacture consumer products. While scrap facilities vary
considerably in size and layout, key variables that affect a
plant’s efficiency include maintaining a smooth flow of traffic
and minimizing the number of times that material is handled.
While scrap facilities have often been located near major
manufacturing centers, scrap recycling facilities today are
located all across the United States and throughout the world.
MRFs are also significant contributors to the recycling supply
chain, particularly for residential recycling. These are complex
facilities that utilize a complicated series of conveyors, optical
and infrared scanners, blowers, sink float pools, and hand
sorting lines to separate paper from plastics from glass bottles
from aluminum cans, and so on.
In addition to outdoor recycling plants, an increasing number
of high-tech facilities with advanced sorting systems for
paper, and other