A few weeks ago, we decided to overhaul our recycling process in the office, which proved to be no small task. Our waste was piling up and out of control. Throughout the process we came to many realizations, but the most amazing part has been the daily discussions surrounding trash.

People now pause before tossing items in the trash.

Is this the right bin? Do we need more recycle bins? Can this be recycled? Why can’t it be recycled? Is this clean enough? Can this be composted? Why can’t it be composted?

It is this awareness that we, at Overland, are trying to bring to light. The little changes we make around the office transfer into our everyday lives. How we live day-to-day has a direct impact on the environment.

Did you know? Only 13% of current San Antonio residents recycle
The decision to over-haul our trash system gave us the opportunity to learn surprising details about waste disposal. Our main source of information was the City of San Antonio’s SA tomorrow Sustainability Plan. We found several of the findings truly astonishing, including the fact that only 13% of current San Antonio residents recycle.

After taking in all we could from the Sustainability Plan, we still had looming questions. We made somewhat daily calls to ReCommunity, which is the City of San Antonio’s recycling center, to clear up the remaining grey areas in our recycling research. A few too many phone calls later, we came to a dead end. The only way to fully understand the process and importance of recycling was to visit the center in person. The good people at ReCommunity had a wealth of knowledge to impart, and we were eager to listen.

ReCommunity Visitor Center

ReCommunity Visitor Center in San Antonio, Texas

We took a field trip to their Visitor Center with a bag of questionable items that were brought we’d collected throughout week. Tim Tiemann, plant manager at ReCommunity in San Antonio, gave us the low-down on trash.

In this small video, Tim explains the machines, the processes, and the challenges.

What information did you find helpful? Surprising? Leave your comments below.

Did you know that the U.S. exports tons of recyclables to China? How we process our trash in the U.S. has larger impacts that you might think. Click here to read the article that explains why empty, dry and clean paper, plastic, and glass goods are so important. “Operation Green Fence” was formally implemented in February 2013 and was billed as an aggressive inspection effort aimed at curtailing the amount of contaminated recyclables and waste that was being sent to China.
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