More plastic may mean more jobs for Quincy

Bales of sorted Type 1 and 2 plastic, ready for shipment.

Quincy Recycle is expanding production, and perhaps adding jobs in the future.

The company recently invested in a machine to sort plastics using laser technology.

There are many different types of plastics for many different uses. So as you can imagine the problem facing Quincy Recycle has always been how to sort it. All this used to be hand-sorted...but not anymore.

"This is a big investment for Quincy Recycle, this will hopefully allow us to double and even triple our volume of plastic we are recycling," said Chad Hoener, General Manager at Quincy Recycle.

Hoener says this increased efficiency also may mean more jobs in the future. The facility runs two shifts of workers...and is now looking at adding a third to address the growth here.

Here's how the optical sorting equipment works. Click here to watch an explaination during KHQA This Morning.

The process starts with a bale of co-mingled plastic. A chunk of plastic bottles, jugs and containers is broken up in a machine before being hoisted up a conveyor belt. Once there, the plastic passes through a laser beam, where an optical eye determines the type of plastic. In a split second, it tells an air compressor which way to blow each individual piece of plastic.

Human sorters are stationed to ensure all the plastic gets to the right place.

When the plastics are sorted they fall down into piles like this. Type one plastic like water and soda bottles are be made into new bottles, clothing or even carpet. Type two plastics, like milk jugs, are made into other jugs, agricultural tiling and even all-weather decking.

Quincy Recycle buys plastic from the city of Quincy, but what's picked up in orange recycle bins makes up only three percent of the plastic it sorts on a daily basis. Click here to learn more about the capacity at Quincy Recycle.

"We're also buying plastic from other recyclers that may not have the space, the time, the interest to sort it here in Quincy," said Hoener.

All this to make our world a bit more green. Click here to see more from the Quincy Recycle paper and cardboard area.

"Where would this material end up if it wasn't recycled? It's being reused and recycled into new products. If it wasn't it would be in our landfills for generations to follow and to deal with," said Hoener.

Click here to see a behind the scenes look inside Quincy Recycle.

Quincy Recycle processes 150 tons of cardboard and paper daily . Click here for more from KHQA This Morning.