I'm tired. Have a thing I wrote for my Intro Manufacturing Course I took in India.
We visited a factory in Delhi, a recycling facility located on land given to them by the train station. The facility makes enough to pay its workers, and it serves two main purposes. The first is to create jobs which are better than trash-picking, which is at the bottom of the industrial chain, is a dangerous profession, and is a job where we see a lot of child labor. The other goal is to bring recycling into India.
One of the first things I noticed was the lack of machines- everything seems to be done by hand. Since I did not yet know that one of the purposes of this company was providing employment, I thought this was rather inefficient. Machines are much quicker than people, make fewer errors, and are usually cheaper to maintain than the people they replace. Of course, that logic is part of why an organization with providing employment as a goal becomes needed. (Not hiring people to perform jobs that are absolutely necessary but would be nice to get done because hiring those people would cut into profits is another part.) So, knowing about all the problems with unemployment that we've had in the US as people get replaced by machines and knowing that India has a much larger population than the US, it makes sense that this sort of organization exists.
Our first and only stop at the facility was a place where people sorted the trash into different bags, some of which were for bottles, some for cardboard, and some for newsprint. This sorting was done by hand. I'm sure a machine would be faster, but we run into the providing employment goal of the organization if we try to replace these people with machines- we're using people for a reason, here! Each day, this facility sorts the garbage from 18 trains coming into the Delhi station and hopes to expand to sorting the garbage from more trains. They also aim to put out collection locations for plastic bottles around Delhi as well, along with providing assistance to trash-pickers who want to organize on their own.
As far as the processing of the garbage goes, the first step is collecting the garbage from the trains. After a train which the garbage will be processed from arrives, workers from the facility board the train, collect all the garbage bags, and sweep the garbage from the train floors. Once all the garbage is collected, it is transported manually (more work being done by people means more person-hours means more people!) to the place where they sort out the different types of waste: the newsprint, the cardboard, and the plastic bottles to recycle, everything else as actual garbage. (They do not recycle aluminum, which is not widely used in India.)