[See Waste and Wyrd for background and motivation.]
I started investigated the fate of our recyclables. Waste Management, a large company based in Houston, takes them away to a processing plant in Northeast Philadelphia. The plant is actually pretty amazing. You can watch it in action here.
I found out that I can now recycle plastics numbered 1 through 7. I had been recycling only 1s and 2s. Who knows how long ago they switched over. The new plant can also handle more types of paper than I’d been recycling. That’s good to know. The building itself was made out of a hefty proportion of recycled materials.
The plant employs something more than seventy people. I’m a bit disappointed; I’d expected it to employ more. I’ve got to say that the workers on the floor sure move fast. I wonder what they think of their jobs. Do the machines need to slow down?
Questions to follow up on:
1. Where do they take the non-recyclable materials?
2. What are the working conditions like?
3. Who are the workers?
4. Who buys the recyclables and what do they do with it?