Recycling in Forsyth County has gotten easier for many.
Advanced Disposal, a waste management company, held a grand opening for its new “single stream” material recycling facility on Wednesday.
While the facility was officially welcomed during a ceremony, it has been operating since mid-January.
Marcie Kreager, community affairs manager for Advanced Disposal, said the new $5 million facility off Hwy. 9 in south Forsyth is processing an average of 100 tons of recyclables a day.
“It’s a single stream system, which means all the recyclables are co-mingled together,” Kreager said.
Facility manager Zach Poucher explained that with the new facility, Advanced Disposal customers won’t have to separate their recyclables into categories such as paper, plastic and aluminum.
“They separate those items out from their regular garbage, but they don’t have to separate them beyond that,” Poucher said.
Kreager said the process is largely about making recycling easier for customers.
“It’s all about convenience,” she said. “If we make it convenient for them, they’ll do it.”
Along with convenience, she said, Advanced Disposal also plans to provide larger containers for recycling.
“In the past, we’ve given those very small blue bins for recycling,” she said. “We find that limits people’s recycling. When that little bin gets full, they just start throwing the recycling in the garbage.
“We want to provide the same size containers for recycling as for garbage. That’s the way of the future.”
Poucher said the new material recycling facility can handle up to 150 tons at one time.
Trucks bring the items to the facility, where they are dumped. They are then separated through a process that uses a combination of conveyor belts and workers.
After being sorted into the categories of glass, paper, plastics, aluminum and steel cans, the items are then bailed together and sold to mills who use the product to create new items.
Poucher said the facility employs about 45 people, most with salaries of between $9 and $13 per hour, and has the potential to add more over time.
“We went from running one shift to two shifts less than a month ago,” he said.
He said there are few single stream facilities in operation in Georgia, adding that the process should have a positive impact on the amount of waste going to Advanced Disposal’s Eagle Point Landfill in northwest Forsyth.
“Where we’ll be in four or five years, I’m not entirely sure,” he said. “But I think we will definitely see a big decrease in things going into the landfill.”