SMART facility begins sorting recyclables

SPOKANE, Wash. - With the new, larger recycling bins on their way to Spokane homeowners, the new facility to sort all of the materials is open and running.

Waste Management broke ground on the new Spokane Material and Recycling Technology (SMART) Center in February. The $20 Million facility is state-of-the-art and the only of its kind between Seattle and Denver.

At full capacity, the center will sort through 90,000 tons of recyclables a year. That includes aluminum cans, tin cans, glass bottles and jars, four different types of plastic, newspaper, cardboard and the list goes on.

SMART facility recycling

Through an intricate system of shakers, movers and sorters, the recyclables end up in neat cubes to be sold off on the market. What can't be recycled also gets used to its full potential.

"The residual or the garbage that comes out of the facility goes next door to the Waste-to-Energy plant which creates electricity," Ken Gimpel with Waste Management said.

Once you get your new roller cart for recyclables, you can recycle your old bin right inside. Gimpel wants you to pay close attention to the schedule that will be attached to the new bin when it's dropped off; Waste Management customers will be moving to an every-other-week pick-up schedule.

"Most folks should be able to reduce the level of garbage service they pay for and actually save money by maximizing their recycling, we're just asking people to give it a try, we know you're going to love it," Gimpel said.