PHASE Recycling in Sandstone, MN) was hosting an open house, I decided to go. I had always wondered what happened to all that co-mingled material. Was it really sorted out and re-used? If so, how?
The tour was very instructive. And yes, PHASE does sort through it all, starting with a line of people separating out the metals, aluminum, plastics, cardboard, paper, etc. Then each material is compacted into bales that weigh a thousand pounds or more. It takes a LOT of plastic bottles to make a bale. Last year, PHASE reclaimed over TWO MILLION POUNDS of materials to be recycled. Wow! And this is not from a big city, either. Although there are some good-sized towns in Pine County, we are basically rural.
PHASE stands for Pine Habilitation And Support Employment, Inc. PHASE provides employment for developmentally-challenged individuals, as well as a very good service for our community. And the building itself is "recycled" -- it used to be Chris's Grocery Store. When the grocery built a newer, bigger facility nearby and became Chris's Food Center, the old building sat vacant for a while. Meanwhile, the county was finding it hard to finance their recycling program. PHASE took it over, acquired the old grocery, refitted it for their needs. Today, about 30 people work there -- an excellent example of a "green" industry creating jobs! WAY TO GO!