In a typical day, all four Société VIA’s recycling centres receive over 100 collection trucks that collected the content of more than 34,000 bins on wheels!
The content of every truck is sorted in less than 6 minutes and divided into 25 categories: office paper, newsprint paper, mixed paper, corrugated cardboard, plastic #1, aluminium, etc. By combining manual, mechanical and optical sorting methods, our team achieves a high-quality sorting and processing of the recyclable materials. Then, each type of material is compacted and baled into bales weighing approximately a tonne.
The collection trucks drop the content of the blue bins here in the receiving area. Only at our Lévis recycling centre, we receive about 200 tonnes of recyclable materials on a daily basis, which is equivalent to 40 truckloads per day!
During the first steps of the sorting, a team pre-sorts the materials by removing all non-recyclable products that could cause blockings in the centre’s system. Then, a series of sorting machines divide the items into a few main categories, like paper, cardboard, plastic and metal containers and glass. Continuous monitoring is provided by a team of experts to ensure an optimal quality production.
Containers and fibrous materials go through a series of optical sorters using compressed air. This high technology equipment has been recently installed in our main recycling centres.
The optical sorters can detect and identify very accurately the types of materials that go through their optical beams. The materials are sent to the appropriate sorting line with the help of a jet of compressed air. This state-of-the-art equipment can sort up to 600 products per minute!
Our sorting team then does a very high standard quality control after the optical sorting, which ensures the optimal quality of the sorting of each recyclable material.
Each type of material is then piled up in a cell, as is shown here for #2 plastic containers (a). When the cell is full, its content is automatically sent to the baler, so the recyclable material can be baled.
Finally, each type of recyclable material that is sorted is then compacted and baled, so that the shipping to the recyclers is optimized. The only exception is glass, which is delivered to other recyclers in Québec using specialized trucks.
Thanks to the expertise of our team and our high technology equipment, over 500 bales are produced daily in all our recycling centres, with a purity level close to 99%. Each type of material is then shipped to a specific recycler in order to complete the recycling process.