Republic Services has begun operations on a massive 342 acre recycling complex in Milpitas, which is actually sitting on land annexed to San Jose. The facility can process a staggering 110 tons of recyclables each hour across four different processing lines: residential single-stream materials, commercial single-stream materials, commercial dry recyclables, and commercial wet recyclables. The recovery rate is expected to be greater than 75% on the commercial lines and 95% on the residential lines.
The system is highly automated--although the video below does show people picking out specific items. There is also an area for composting and the recycling byproducts are being used to generate electricity for San Jose waste management facilities in the area. It all ties into an aggressive "Green Vision" for the city, and considering we have more greentech jobs than anywhere else, this seems entirely appropriate.