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Published on November 14, 2012

Billings Clinic provides comingled recycling to reduce waste

Billings, MT — Billings Clinic is partnering with Allied Waste Services, a local company, to provide a new, user friendly comingled recycling service to combine a variety of unsorted recyclable materials into one single container, eliminating the need to sort materials.

One dumpster is now used to collect paper, tin and steel cans, cardboard, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and manila folders. All items are then transported for recycling. Instead of using multiple containers for collection, this process only requires one container for recyclable products and another for items that cannot be recycled.

“With estimates of 35 to 45 percent of total waste generated from commercial and institutional locations such as schools, hospitals and businesses, we know that this is environmentally the right thing to do,” said Mitch Goplen, Vice President of Facility Services.

Allied Waste Services of Billings uses Republic recycling center outside of Seattle, Washington for the outsourcing of the comingled recycling. Republic was one of the first Material Recover Facilities started in the United States. Republic processes over a million and a half pounds of material every day.

The sorting process starts with an automatic disc-screening system that sorts the paper and cardboard from the sort line. Employees physically sort the plastics and magnets capture tin cans and ferrous metals. An air separator sorts the non-ferrous material such as aluminum cans. Specialized machinery then sends the recyclables into three computer operated balers. The materials are cubed, tied and shipped to recycling mills to be used in the production of new products.

Last month, comingle recycling bins were placed in hospital and clinic departments that are collected and emptied into a 30 yard container that sits at the Billings Clinic loading dock and emptied 1-2 times each week. For many years, Billings Clinic has encouraged recycling by placing recycling containers to separate newspaper, plastic, and aluminum that are then recycled. These containers will continue to be available for employees to use for their own personal recycling needs.

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