Since we came to Valencia, Spain, we recycle as much as we can. For us this is a new experience and it sounds a little silly but we are really excited about it.
This is a process that includes the collaboration of the society, in which everyone has to make a little effort to make it real. It also involves private and public companies, which require the municipal waste as raw materials; the collaboration and contracts of the communities and municipalities of Spain; traders; and of course the important labor, discipline, and commitment of Ecoembes.
Ecoembes is the non-profit association who takes care of the environment through the recycling and the eco-design of the packaging in Spain. They make it possible to give a second life to the plastic, cans, and bricks (yellow container); cartons and paper (blue containers) that we placed in the containers. It is a large and complicated process which results in a reduction of landfills, less CO2 emissions, saving water, energy saving, and green job creation. To make it easier to understand I will explain it with the figure below that I have taken and translated from the web page of Ecoembes
To make it possible, Ecoembes has on the disposition to the citizens more than 500.000 containers yellow and blue, 24/7 the all year. Municipalities are the responsible for picking up the recycling containers and dropping into “selection plants” where are previously classified and then recycled.
The recycled material must be classified based on qualities and characteristics. In Spain geography, there are 96 sorting plants were packing light is separated into at least three fractions and each fraction must go to its corresponding recycler which is responsible for transforming them into new raw material. These fractions are: metals (steel and aluminum), plastics (PET, HDPE, and Plastic Film Mixture), and cartons.
It is not an easy logistic process; it takes time, precision, compromise, education, environment care, between others and all the factors involve has to be taken into account. For example, they work with indicators that take into consideration which is the most efficient way of taking the recycling materials (lateral load, igloo, back load, bagging, and others). This is a huge world, which we are interested to know, collaborate, and discuss with anybody that feels that this is a way of making the world a better place to live.