Since recycling is becoming more popular with Americans, many cities have begun using advanced machines to sort through recycled trash. The sorters utilize everything from magnets and sifting screens to optical sensors and weight detectors. Waste Management has sprung to the forefront of this emerging industry, helping communities move to "single-stream" recycling systems that allow typical consumers to put all their recyclables into one bin and let the machines sort the materials. Recycling now has a potential for profit, and towns with populations as low as 17,000 are now finding that single-stream recycling programs can be cost-effective and even profitable. This is due not only to the machines' increased efficiency but also to plain old supply and demand: Countries such as China are desperate for raw materials and are finding recycled U.S. trash to be a good source.
:: Wired News