How It Works
As a materials recovery facility (MRF), we don’t pick up recycling from homes or businesses. We accept the materials from other sources and send them to be recycled into raw materials for new products. MRFs like Green Quest play an important role in recycling, ensuring your recycling has the best chance of being repurposed into new products to keep the world greener. They’re also a good source of local jobs and stimulate local economies.
Recycled Material Arrives
We receive recycled materials from haulers in Lincoln and the surrounding areas. When the trucks first arrive at Green Quest, they dump the material onto the tip floor: basically, a huge space where trucks literally tip out all of their material. At this point, everything is still in a big, messy pile.
Into the Pre-Sort Line
We receive an average of 89 tons (that’s 178,000 pounds) of material daily — that’s a lot to work through! Our skid steer roams around the tip floor to feed the material onto an infeed belt. This belt has a back-scraping drum that can sense what material is passing by. From there, your materials reach our Pre-Sort Line, where employees pick out material that can’t be recycled, or “contaminants.” The Pre-Sort Line is essential, because these items could get caught in our machinery or injure someone.
And onto the Sorting Screens
At this point, wouldn’t it be nice to have a magical machine to organize all the different types of recycling? Luckily, we have Sorting Screens to do just that, starting with cardboard.
While the materials travel along the screen, cardboard stays on top, and all the other materials fall through. The cardboard goes into its own pile.
The other materials drop onto a different conveyer belt, on their way to another separator that will pick out the 2D material (fiber) and 3D material (containers).
From here, we bale the fiber and cardboard for shipment, while we sort the containers by grade.
Material We Can’t Accept
Some of the most common unrecyclable materials we receive are:
Paper with excess food residue
When Recycling is Transformed into New Products
Now that all of the materials have been processed and organized, they’re ready to be transported around the U.S. — and even to other countries — to be recycled into new products.
From Mixed Paper to Tissues
When we say “mixed paper,” we’re talking about a wide variety of low-grade paper that can be recycled into everything from paper towels and toilet paper to grocery bags and egg cartons. We ship mixed paper to Georgia Pacific in Oklahoma to be made into tissue.
From Newspaper to Envelopes
There’s a reason we’ve all been recycling newspaper for so long; not only can it be recycled back into a fiber product, it can be used for insulation and a variety of other products. Green Quest ships its newspaper to San Juan Del Rio, Mexico to be made into Kraft envelopes.
What happens to your recycling is a complicated process.
But MRFs like Green Quest Recycling have nailed down the process to ensure it’s sorted and shipped quickly. The result is a world where we can all reduce, reuse, and recycle more.