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【探索发现】美国的塑料制品回收办法 U.S. Plastic Product Recycling Approach

Volunteers participating in the International Coastal Cleanup collect litter in the Anacostia area of Washington,DC.


参与国际海岸清理的志愿者在华盛顿的阿纳科斯蒂亚地区收集垃圾。


The recycle bin in the home or office is often the last stop for empty containers.But for papers,plastics,cardboards and cans,it is the beginning of a trip thousands of kilometers long.


家里或办公室的回收站通常是空容器的最后一站。但对于纸张、塑料、纸板和罐头来说,这是数千公里旅程的开始。


Yehenew Gedshew directs a recycling center near Washington,DC.


YehenewGedshew在华盛顿特区附近领导一个回收中心。


"As long as people throw their trash,we have a job."


“只要人们扔垃圾,我们就有工作。”

His recycling center processes about 35 tons of material an hour.How does it process that much every hour?Yehenew Gedshew says the business is highly-organized.


他的回收中心每小时处理大约35吨材料。它每小时怎么处理这么多?YehenewGedshew说,公司组织严密。


"First what happens is,dump trucks bring materials to our site.They dump it on the tipping floor.It goes to the first screen where the cardboard and the rest of(the)material is sorted out."


“首先,自卸卡车把材料运到我们的工地。他们把它倒在翻斗车的地板上。它进入第一个屏幕,在那里,纸板和其他材料被分类。”


The rest of the material goes on a belt that carries the glass and plastic to the last screening area.The glass gets crushed and the plastic gets sorted and flattened.


剩下的材料放在传送带上,把玻璃和塑料带到最后一个筛选区域。玻璃被压碎,塑料被分类和压平。


"This is a very sophisticated machine.And that belt brings it down to the bunker.The plastic goes to the bunker,from the bunker we put it to the baler,it gets baled and gets shipped out."


“这是一台非常精密的机器。那条皮带把它带到地堡。塑料进入地堡,从我们放在地堡的地堡到打捆机,打捆后运出。”


Local recycling programs often require people to separate plastics,papers and glass.But Yehenew Gedshew says sorters at his recycling center do that all that work.He says the center ships most of its plastic to a processing center in North Carolina,more than 500 kilometers to the south.At that center,mountains of bottles become piles of plastic.They are ready to be melted and shaped into something new.


当地的回收计划通常要求人们将塑料、纸张和玻璃分开。但是YehenewGedshew说,他回收中心的分拣员做的就是这些工作。他说,该中心将大部分塑料运送到南面500多公里的北卡罗来纳州的一个加工中心。在那个中心,成堆的瓶子变成了成堆的塑料。它们已经准备好融化并成形成新的东西。


From the store to the recycling bin,and from there to just about anywhere you can imagine,plastic bottles spend a lot of time on the road.And so have we.We now go to Fayetteville,North Carolina.The city is home to the Clear Path Recycling center.It is one of the largest plastic recycling centers in the United States.Jay Chilton supervises the center.


从商店到回收站,从那里到任何你能想象得到的地方,塑料瓶在路上花了很多时间。我们也是。我们现在去北卡罗来纳州的费耶特维尔。这座城市是Clear Path回收中心的所在地。它是美国最大的塑料回收中心之一。杰伊·奇尔顿负责监督中心。


"On an average week we receive anywhere from 1 to one and one half million pounds of bottles into the plant."


“平均一周,我们会收到100万到150万磅的瓶子。”


In metric terms,that is 454,000 to 680,000 kilograms.The Clear Path Recycling Center receives eight to 10 trucks a day.That means more than 18,000 kilograms of plastic every day.The goods come to the center in large piles or bales,like the ones at the recycling center in Maryland.


按公制计算,是454000到680000公斤。清道回收中心每天接收8到10辆卡车。这意味着每天超过18000公斤的塑料。这些货物成堆或成捆地运到中心,就像马里兰州的回收中心一样。


"These bales on average are about 900lbs((400 kg));and they can range anywhere from 600lbs((270 kg))to 1500lbs((680 kg))in this configuration.This is accumulation of nearly 10-15 weeks of delivery."


“这些捆的平均重量约为900磅(400公斤);在这种配置下,它们的重量范围从600磅(270公斤)到1500磅(680公斤)。这是近10-15周分娩的累积。”


Not far from the Clear Path Recycling is a huge storage area for the plastic objects.They enter the recycling center to begin the process that will change them.


在离清洁通道不远的地方,回收是一个巨大的塑料物品储存区。他们进入回收中心,开始改变他们的过程。


"This is where the whole bottles enter the whole bottle wash.It's just like your front-end loading washing machine at your house.It's just a lot longer,and a lot bigger."


“这是整瓶水进入整瓶水的地方。就像你家里的洗衣机一样。只是长得多,大得多。”


Hot water washes paper labels off the drink bottles and removes dirt.The plastic is broken up into what the plastics recycling industry calls"PET flake."Another center will buy the flake to melt and mold into something else.The flake fills trucks and is sometimes stored in silos like farmers use to store grain.


热水可以洗掉饮料瓶上的标签纸,并清除污垢。塑料被分解成塑料回收行业所称的“宠物薄片”,另一个中心将购买薄片融化并模制成其他东西。这种薄片填满卡车,有时像农民用来储存粮食一样被储存在筒仓里。


"These silos hold roughly 300 metric tons of PET flake,and the one we're standing on now,we have about 150 metric tons of flake,and there's three of these."


“这些筒仓装着大约300公吨的聚酯薄片,而我们现在所站的筒仓,我们有大约150公吨的薄片,一共有三个。”


Add up the numbers--almost one kiloton of plastic flake waits to be changed into something new.


把数字加起来——差不多有1千吨塑料片等着换成新的。


Plastic bottles spend their lives on the move.Machines mold and fill them with our favorite drinks.When we are done drinking,machines destroy the bottles and make them into new bottles.Their journey never ends.But our trip has come to an end in Wilson,North Carolina.


塑料瓶在移动中度过一生。机器会把我们最喜欢的饮料铸成模子并填满。当我们喝完酒后,机器会把瓶子销毁,制成新的瓶子。他们的旅程永无止境。但是我们的旅行在北卡罗来纳州的威尔逊结束了。


In our program,we have described the trip made by plastic bottles from stores to recycling bins and then to recycling centers.The bottles are then broken down into small pieces,which are put into bags.Now,we will witness the rebirth of a plastic bottle.


在我们的计划中,我们描述了塑料瓶从商店到回收箱再到回收中心的旅程。然后把瓶子分成小块,装进袋子里。现在,我们将见证一个塑料瓶的重生。


Mark Rath is a supervisor at Peninsula Packaging.At his business,pieces of plastic become products like carry-out trays at food stores and restaurants.


马克·拉思是半岛包装公司的主管。在他的公司里,塑料片变成了像食品店和餐馆的托盘一样的产品。


"This will become a plastic sheet,and eventually a thermoform product."


这将成为一种塑料片,并最终成为一种热成型产品


Peninsula Packaging melts and flattens plastic so it can be shaped and molded.The process is complex.


半岛包装融化和扁平的塑料,以便它可以成型和模压。这个过程很复杂。


"We take the clear chips like this,and it goes into an oven,and it cooks for about 3 to 4 hours in that oven."


“我们拿着这样的透明薯条,放到烤箱里,在烤箱里烤3到4个小时。”


The plastic cooks at almost 200 degrees Celsius.When the melted plastic comes out of the oven,it is made into carry-out trays or other food packaging.The plastic is then wrapped,rolled and taken to what is called a"thermoform station."


塑料在将近200摄氏度的温度下烹调。当熔化的塑料从烤箱里出来时,它被制成托盘或其他食品包装。然后,塑料被包裹、滚动并被带到所谓的“热成型站”


"We unwind the plastic into a very long oven where we heat it again,and then we'll form it in a forming station.We'll follow it through and see what happens to it."


“我们把塑料放进一个很长的烤箱里再加热,然后在成型站成型。我们会一直跟进,看看会发生什么。”


What happens to the recycled plastic involves a vacuum,lots of pressure,and--believe it or not--more recycling.


回收塑料的情况包括真空、很大的压力,还有——信不信由你——更多的回收利用。


"If you could imagine that you're cutting cookies ou


“如果你能想象你在切饼干。”


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