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Coca Cola Reimagines Recycling

November 28th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Coca Cola reimagines recycling center in Texas which can process both aluminum cans and PET plastic bottles simultaneously.

Reimagine Recycling Center

We’ve written before about the huge amount of plastic bottles being discarded in the U.S. everyday and about the many innovative ways that companies and environmental groups are encouraging people to recycle. The beverage giant Coca Cola just dove into the fray with the introduction of their Reimagine Recycling center in Texas.

The ultra-modern self-contained recycling facility (the unit is “about the size of a delivery truck”) built in Arlington, Texas can process both Pet plastic bottles (recycling symbol # 1) and aluminum cans simultaneously using smart technology. To date, recycling these two products entails countless hours of manual or partly mechanized sorting in recycling facilities. The new technology is able to process these recyclables in less time using optical scanners.

How Reimagine Recycling works

Consumers can deposit their used aluminum cans and pet bottles to the Reimagine facility without sorting. All recyclables then pass through a conveyor belt where they are optically scanned to determine the type of material. Containers that aren’t made of aluminum or PET (ex. glass, styrofoam cups, etc.) are pushed off the conveyor belt and place in a reject bin. Aluminum cans are taken directly to a can crusher and then stored in a holding bin that can store up to 65,000 aluminum cans. 95% of these, says Reimagine, can be remade into new aluminum cans and will be back in store shelves within 6 days. (Read: Recycling Facts). The PET plastic bottles are taken to a bottle crusher and then stored in bins, each with a capacity to store up to 18,000 plastic bottles. These will later be recycled into new consumer items like clothing, backpacks, carpet, and even new bottles.

Consumers depositing plastic bottles and aluminum cans

Coca Cola and Envipco

Reimagine Beverage Containers is a joint initiative of Coca-Cola Recycling LLC and Envipco. Envipco (Environmental Products Corporation), based in Naugatuck, Connecticut is a world leader in the development and operation of automated systems for the recovery of used beverage containers. The first Reimagine recycling plant in Arlington, Texas will start processing recyclables this November. This is a pilot facility and Reimagine already has plans to open similar centers throughout the Dallas-Forth Worth area. Its compact size and portability makes it easier to install these units near commercial centers where the need for aluminum can and beverage bottle recycling is high.

Rewards for Helping The Environment

Like RecycleBank which rewards consumers for recycling, Reimagine has also put in place a reward system for consumers. Points are assigned each time a consumer deposits cans or bottles to the center and these can redeemed for special prizes (like tickets to Dallas Mavericks games) or donated to schools that participate in the program.

This is a great recycling innovation and we hope that the Arlington Reimagine recycling center is successful to pave the way for the adoption of this technology throughout the country. Great job Coca Cola and Envipco!

Photos: Reimagine

Tags: Recycling

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