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Mount Amazon? Online Shopping Boxes Overwhelm San Francisco Recycling Center

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – The want it, need it, have to have it right now world of online shopping has redefined instant gratification in recent years.

Between Amazon Prime and Google Express, the retail itch can be scratched almost immediately. With that quick purchase, comes quicker delivery and lots of packaging.

All that cardboard likely winds up at a recycling center, such as the Recology plant in San Francisco. Inside the 200,000 square foot plant, the scope of 630 daily tons of recycling hits you.

"People are buying more and more things online, so we're seeing a lot of cardboard boxes here and sometimes it's a box inside of a box," Robert Reed of Recology told KPIX 5.

Those boxes go up a conveyor belt to be sorted from bottles and cans and plastic, and then they get bundled.

Each one of these cardboard bales weigh a thousand pounds. At this facility, with cardboard just from the city of San Francisco, they make 200 of them each day.

Those bundles get shipped again, to be recycled into more corrugated cardboard, for the next time you feel a need to ship something to your home.

"Some people are buying very common things online, things like potatoes," Reed said.

It's a system that Reed said has reached unsustainable proportions. "All trash goes somewhere," he said.

Today's pile will dwindle just in time to make room for the next day's 630 tons of buys.

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