Behind the Scenes: How recycling in San Francisco works

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Ever wonder where your recycling goes in San Francisco? Step inside Recology's Recycle Central plant located at Pier 96 in San Francisco and you'll be amazed by the sheer magnitude of their operation. The facility even boasts a brand new optic sorting machine from Europe which will eliminate the need for hand sorting.

The 200,000 square foot waste management facility processes 650-tons of recyclables every day.

Most of the brown cardboard in the many massive piles at the facility is from Amazon boxes-- a testament to how San Francisco shops.

RELATED: San Francisco considers hiring trash sorters to reduce waste

San Francisco residents produce a whopping four-and-a-half pounds of trash every day.

Recyclables move through a number of sorting decks to separate different materials. Cardboard moves down a wave-like conveyor belt which causes the cardboard to "float" to the top of the pile and be removed from smaller plastic or glass items.

At the end of the sorting process, each material is bundled separately and then shipped off to different domestically and overseas to foreign manufacturing facilities.
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