<p>The process starts with the arrival of incoming bales of PET bottles. The bales of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) are clamped by a forklift operator onto an incline conveyor to singulate the bottles. The conveyor can hold up to ten bales at a time.</p>Early in the process, green bottles are detected and kicked out. They are accumulated for sale.<p>During prewash, the outsides of bottles are cleaned of dirt so that the near infrared (NIR) scanners can accurately detect the type of plastic.</p>The material is then run through a label separator. Steam and chemicals aid in the removal of labels and loose caps, which are then separated.<p>Empty bottles then go through two infrad sorting processes. The first <a href="https://www.thebalance.com/ferrous-and-non-ferrous-scrap-metal-2877924" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="internalLink" data-ordinal="1">removes ferrous and non-ferrous metals</a>, as well as any residual green bottles that might still be in the material. A second step scans for mixed plastics, which are also ejected.</p>The following step is the manual sortation of any greens, labels, or contaminants that have made it through to this stage of the recycling process.After manual sorting and before going into the grinder, material must again go through metal detection. If any metal is identified, it is sent down the shoot to be sure it is removed.Remaining bottles then proceed through a wet grinder where they are reduced to the desired PET flake size.After grinding, the flakes are then washed with hot water and chemicals to remove dirt and glue.After washing, the flakes then travel to a float/sink tank where caps and rings are separated from PET flakes. PET sinks while polypropylene (PP) floats to the surface where it is skimmed off for separate resale.After the final rinse, the PET and water are separated. The product is spun dry and put on a conveyor to go through yet another metal detector.<p>PET is then directed into a blending/mixing silo where any residual PVC is detected. PET is fed out the bottom. An <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elutriation" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">elutriator</a> removes the tiny particles.</p>The storage silo can hold up to 12 hours production of utility grade PET material until it sent to be &#34;super cleaned&#34; in the LNO converter for use in food packaging.Super sacks are then filled with finished material, ready for shipping.