New recycling facility opening in Bakersfield

Local haulers fund a new recycling facility that helps the city and county reach state mandates.
BAKERSFIELD, CA --We're giving you an exclusive look inside a new recycling facility in Bakersfield that's helping you go green by fulling up your blue bins. It's a venture funded by local haulers to help the city and county meet state recycling mandates.

Assembly Bill 341 passed in 2011, setting a goal in California to divert 75% of solid waste to recycling instead of a landfill. The new Metropolitan Recycling facility is making it easier for you to help the county reach that goal by 2020.

It's an updated spin on an old concept.

A new state of the art recycling facility is helping Bakersfield and Kern County meet state mandates. The $12 million project is funded by the five local haulers that make up Metropolitan Recycling.

"What we're able to do is be more efficient at recycling so just with that alone we're able to achieve the 75% as well as the diversion from the landfills," said facility manager Martin Graves.

The facility on Mt. Vernon helps recover more than 95% of available recyclables. From plastic and glass to paper and cardboard.

"Here we got people working on pulling out all the bulky materials we got all the big pieces of metal that would normally jam up our machine," said Sergio Munoz, operations supervisor.

The materials go through five mechanical screens and three hand-sorting stations reducing the amount of separating you have to do at home.

And that unique quality is what helps the plant go through tons of material every day. Exporting 22 tons of recyclables per truck up to six times a day.

"It's just the volume of the material that we're able to handle it processes anywhere from 15-20 tons per hour where previously or in hand sort from our previous operations we were about four tons an hour max," Graves said.

From the blue bins in your neighborhood to the conveyor belts in this new facility, Bakersfield and Kern County are stepping up when it comes to sustainability.

The new facility has been operating for about seven weeks but its grand opening will be next Wednesday.

To learn more about the blue bin program or what can be recycled, visit the Bakersfield city website www.bakersfieldcity.us.

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