gmhTODAY 19 gmhToday April May 2018 - Page 72

The Early Days LEFT: The rough and ready days when garbage collectors lugged huge pack barrels over their shoulders from yards to their trucks parked at the end of each street. BELOW: Restored antique garbage truck that followed the horse and buggy days. Photos: Courtesy of Recology the rest by machines and by workers.” Newer, more mechanized facilities are beginning to use artificial intelligence- driven technology to differentiate and sort loads. “Primary sorts” separate glass, metal, paper, plastic, and cardboard. China has long been a major importer of these recyclable materials via cargo ship containers. However, in recent years, China has reduced the acceptable contamination rate to less than one percent. “It caused quite a stir in American MRFs, which have since begun looking at selling to alternative markets. But we have to remind people that we need recyclables to be clean, not contaminated with food or other waste.” He added that a container might cost $500 to ship to China, but if rejected, it will automatically be shipped back to Oakland at a cost of $3,000-4,000 to the originator. Another Recology company, Gilroy- based South Valley Organics, produces compost and soil amendment blends from organic materials received. Two separate processes are used to compost over 40,000 tons of food scraps and yard trimmings gathered from South Bay residents annually. Compost and mulch products are available for sale to commercial customers. According to Alter, “We report our numbers to the State of California. They look a how much we reduce disposal. The goal is to avoid producing waste in the first place. In other words, reduce, reuse, recycle.” 72 Kudos to Recology Couchee said of the parent company, “It’s expected that employees be engaged with the communities they live and work in, and that’s what we try to do here in South County.”   Recology South Valley Large Business of the Year, Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Philanthropy Award, Morgan Hill Community Foundation   Gavilan College Spirit Award Phil Couchee Current Treasurer, Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce Past Volunteer of the Year, Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce Current board member, Gilroy Economic Development Corporation Member, Gilroy Rotary Club   Julie Alter Former board member, St. Joseph’s Family Center Former board member, Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Good Egg Award, Gilroy Chamber of Commerce  Recology South Valley Drivers Customer Service Awards, Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Good Egg Award, Gilroy Chamber of Commerce  GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN APRIL/MAY 2018 gmhtoday.com