Recycling goes high-tech


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– Do you recycle? If you do, your re-usable goods are probably ending up at Millennium Recycling in Sioux Falls.

The local business processes over 100 million pounds of recyclables every year from South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa. We take a look inside the plant to find out how Millennium is staying a step ahead of the trash curb.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Well, in this case your recycled goods are big business for Millennium Recycling.

“We do very well. There’s a lot of material out there. A lot of communities needing help sorting material. We prefer, and we like our customers to be as local as possible but we also keep material that comes from outside our community a little bit as well. Keep the machine running,” said Shannon Dwire, Millennium Recycling president.

Shannon Dwire is president of Millennium. She knows a thing or two about what can and can’t be re-used.

Not only does she know what should or shouldn’t be tossed in the recycling bin, her business is also staying up to date on the latest sorting technology.

The companies buying plastic from Millennium really don’t want paper in their products, so the Millennium conveyor belt actually has a vacuum system that sucks up any spare bits that may sneak through.

Another high tech asset is the Optical Sorter. This technology actually detects different types of plastic and then automatically sorts it into the right bins.

While equipment like this can help, there’s still a lot that you can do to make this process run smoother, and help keep the earth clean.

“So if there’s anything that’s key to recycling is keep it simple. Stick exactly to the guide. Recycle only what is on the guide. If you have a question, call. Or if in doubt you do keep it out,” said Dwire. 

Millennium also has a mentorship program for people in work release programs, to help them get back into the workforce with some job skills on their resume.

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