Lunch at the Recycling Center

Back in February I told you about the ladies lunch group that I started.  Well, for our April lunch we went to the recycling center in McKinney for lunch and a tour.  This time around anyone was invited to come, so my dad came.  Being the clever fellow that he is, every time I mentioned the lunch he asked if we were having recycled food for lunch.  He is my boss as well as my dad, so I smiled like an obedient daughter and told him that he wasn't funny.

"Recycle Center 1" - McKinney, Texas
We got to learn how this...
"Recycle Center 2" - McKinney, Texas
Could become this.
"Recycle Center 3" - McKinney, Texas
This amazing pendent light was made from recycled plastic water bottles and chicken wire.  The bottles were apparently sprayed with something that protected them from the heat of the light bulb.  The center hadn't made them, but bought them for a pretty penny and now I'm on a mission to figure out how you keep water bottles from melting so that I can make my own!
"Recycle Center 4" - McKinney, Texas
The company that owns and runs the recycling center, as well as the trash and recycling pickup for McKinney and several of the surrounding cities is called Progressive.  This is also the company that did the dumpster pools that I wrote about at the end of last summer.
"Recycle Center 5" - McKinney, Texas
Progressive is actually several companies that have combined, including IESI.  You'll still find IESI in use, like on the side of my recycling bin.
"Recycle Center 6" - McKinney, Texas
The process is facinating.  In McKinney we have what is called a single stream system, meaning that I don't have to divide my recyclables into separate bins.  Everything is separated once it gets to the facility.
"Recycle Center 7" - McKinney, Texas
The recyclables are separated through a series of machines that wind their way around the factory.  Plastic bags, which the center does not recycle at this time but lots of people wrap their items up in, are sucked up by one machine, while paper is blown up and over by another.  Magnets pull out the metals and a machine that scans the components in plastic separates the truly clear plastic from the rest.
"Recycle Center 8" - McKinney, Texas
There are men and women all along the line helping the machines and verifying that things are being separated at they are supposed to be.
"Recycle Center 9" - McKinney, Texas
We were given a ton of information that I am just touching on, but I'm hoping that Elizabeth who was our guide might consider writing up a post for me.  Plus I took a video with my camera, but I am going to have to figure out how to upload it so that you guys can see the whole system.  I will tell you, I was very proud that almost 90% of McKinney's residents recycle!

*"Recycle Center 1," "Recycle Center 2," "Recycle Center 3," "Recycle Center 4," "Recycle Center 5," "Recycle Center 6," "Recycle Center 7," "Recycle Center 8," and "Recycle Center 9" are for sale.  Please visit Diggin' It or contact me for information on how to purchase a print. 

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