FORT WORTH, Texas — Workers at the Republic Services recycling plant in Fort Worth stop the machines six times a day, every day to clean up after irresponsible recyclers.
“We have pieces of couches, cushions,” said Anthony Broadbent, operations manager. “You name it, we see it come across here.”
But it’s the “tanglers” that pose a real problem.
Dozens of ropes, chains, hoses, cables and plastic bags get caught in rotating machinery every day.
“Ten, 15, 20 man hours per day are spent cleaning this wrapped material out of the system,” Broadbent said.
Plastic bags have become so problematic, the city of Fort Worth stopped accepting them altogether. The city of Arlington is in the process of phasing them out.
Prices for recycled plastics dropped between 25 and 50 percent, according to the city of Arlington, so it’s less cost effective to process and resell them.
“There’s no place for them here,” Broadbent said.
That means the plastic bags you think you’re recycling are pulled off the line and end up in the trash anyway.