New Optical Sorters at the Boulder MRF = More Plastic Recycling!

New Optical Sorters at the Boulder MRF = More Plastic Recycling!

The Boulder County MRF (materials recovery facility) out on 63rd and Arapahoe in Boulder has some great news to share.  Ready? Drum roll, (this is huge) now we can recycle more plastics that ever before in our recycling bins!  That means haulers like Green Girl Recycling will be rolling out new recycling guidelines this month so that all our customers know they can recycle even more every day.

Why?  The MRF hired a company out of Canada named MACHINEX Technologies who helped install two new plastics optical sorters which allow the processing plant to accept and handle WAY more plastic shapes and grades than ever before.  This new technology using optics watching the recycling on the conveyor belts can tell blowers when to shoot air to pull different grades off the line and can suck them up tubes to sort these plastics at an extremely efficient rate, yes.. correctly!

What can I recycle now that I couldn’t before?  Great question, here is a list below:

  • Plastic Lids = OK
  • CLAMSHELLS = think berry containers, ALL sizes and shapes = OK
  • Rigid Plastics = think children’s toys and buckets (remove metal rods or axles) = OK

Where can I get a new updated recycling guide that informs me of all these changes?  See Eco-Cycle’s new guidelines here, .

If you want to see an amazing video of how these new optical sorting machines work and what $2.8 million dollars’ worth of upgrades now allows our County sorting facility to process – watch this awesome video:

Boulder County has a goal to get to Zero Waste by 2025 (or darn near close), this upgrade is absolutely a step in the right direction.  We all get to recycle even more!


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