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(NPR)   How a used bottle becomes a new bottle in six animated gifs   ( divider line
    More: Interesting, dangerous jobs, construction materials, energy saving  
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12218 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Jun 2013 at 4:11 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

Voting Results (Smartest)
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2013-06-20 07:08:27 AM  
2 votes:
Anyone else sing the "How it's made" song while reading that?
2013-06-20 04:27:51 AM  
2 votes:
The one thing I don't understand is why we no longer simply reuse bottles, rather than recycling them.  Even when I was a teen, we could still get beer in return bottles and take the empty case back in lieu of the deposit on another one.
2013-06-20 12:51:15 AM  
2 votes:
Now I want to watch Mr. Rogers
2013-06-20 03:58:11 PM  
1 vote:
Was I the only one who thought of Phillip Glass music?
farm4.staticflickr.comView Full Size
2013-06-20 10:18:51 AM  
1 vote:
I save my empties to wing at dirty hippies who hitchhike on the side of the highway because their bio-diesel converted 1967  VM bug broke down on the way to the Phish concert.
2013-06-20 05:33:34 AM  
1 vote:

UsikFark: You would use a very fast optical sensor to pull RGB values from each fragment and sort accordingly, I assume.

Why does it need to be fast? You just place it further back on the conveyor belt.
2013-06-20 05:19:50 AM  
1 vote:

UsikFark: Dwight_Yeast: why we no longer simply reuse bottles

Hygiene and flexibility. You would have to clean, test, and sort the old bottles, then send them to the right bottling customer...

Also consumer squeamishness. I've been to countries that reuse glass bottles where it's readily apparent from the scuffed outermost ridges at the top and bottom of the bottles where they brush against one another. I'm sure some people wouldn't like it, and sellers would be concerned with losing those customers.

Sorting isn't that hard. Michigan has a $0.10 deposit on soft drink and beer bottles, so return rates average 97%. Stores that sell beverages have to take back the containers they sell, so most large ones have machines that suck them in on a conveyer, rotate them for lasers to scan the UPC symbol to verify it's a container that they sell, and spit them into the appropriate wheeled bin or chuck it back at the consumer. The beverage distributors are then responsible for taking the containers back from the stores. Granted PepsiCo would have to re-sort them further for re-use, but they could use the same idea on a larger scale.
2013-06-20 05:16:25 AM  
1 vote:
I love how computers seek out the clear glass and blow it onto a different conveyor belt. (Or was it the glass of color?)

I had a friend who built a system for lumber companies that sawed up limber trying to eliminate knots while minimizing waste. He later built a similar system to maximize fry length while getting rid of potato eyes.
2013-06-20 05:10:21 AM  
1 vote:
We need to develop better infrastructure for recycling raw materials. It's great that this place has figured out how to recycle glass - but I remember that in college our local recycling plant basically said that glass was not profitable for them and they would sometimes just stop taking glass from campus. Plastic is another one, it makes so much sense to recycle plastic environmentally (both in the petrol products saved and in terms of not dumping non-biodegradable polymers), but it's so hard for a local operation to do it profitably. Paying a bunch of temp workers/minimum wage employees/teenagers to sort it by hand isn't feasible. Large machines that could do the job would need to be used, but they aren't cost-effective for most towns. You'd have to have one centralized location in a county/MSA to do it effectively, but that increases shipping costs.

That, or we need to just simply subsidize the operation. We say "we're investing tax dollars into this because it's a thing we ought to be doing for the environment, and it makes for a more sustainable economy". But that will never happen universally, because conservatives are convinced that spending tax dollars on things like the environment, health care, education and welfare is evil.
2013-06-20 04:28:08 AM  
1 vote:
I want to see how cheerios are made. I'm assuming it's not unlike a pasta machine with a rotating cutter, then they bake the little Os. Or they hire fairies to make tiny oat bagels.
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