Recycling fruitcake is a very complicated process. There are so many types of fruitcake, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. The process we use is a highly-guarded trade secret, so we can only share an overview of the main recycling steps with you.
1. Classifying and sorting the fruitcake: Trained technicians evaluate each fruitcake we receive. They are sorted according to shape, and density, and the ratio of nuts and fluorescent fruit bits vs amount of actual cake is calculated.
2. Extracting the alcohol: Each year, over 50000 gallons of rum and assorted spirits are extracted in the recycling process, using a variety of machinery and methods, depending on the age, composition, and density of the fruitcake. We get thousands of applicants every year who are interested in joining our team. So far, the alcohol extraction process has been largely left in the hands of interns, who are often very happy to take their work home with them.
3. Once the alcohol is removed, the most dense cakes are transported to the construction department, where contractors are hard at work building the foundation, and eventually the walls, of our new recycling factory.
4. The cakes that can be disassembled are sent to the rendering plant, where the fluorescent fruit bits are carefully extracted and sent to the lab for analysis.
5. The inedible “fruit” bits are sent out to be tempered into stained glass panels. It is worth noting that although all bits analyzed so far have been graded as “Inedible,” we are still looking. We’re optimistic that some day, we will find real fruit in fruitcake!
6. The remainder of the cake is ground into pea-sized granules that are shipped by the truckload to the DOT, for use in a new road surface that is stronger than concrete, impervious to the elements, and virtually indestructible.
We have some exciting new openings in R&D. One important project worth noting is the creation of biofuel from the assorted byproducts that are created in the recycling process. We’re hoping it will eclipse ethanol sales by 2012.
On a local level, we are working with communities around the States to establish sustainable recycling programs. You can get involved by recycling every fruitcake you receive. You’ll find a number of handy craft ideas on our main website. If you’re not crafty, the next-best option is to hold onto the fruitcake until next Christmas, to regift to someone else.
The recycling process starts at Christmas, and continues throughout the year. If you find a fruitcake hiding somewhere any time of year, please recycle it yourself, or send it to us for recycling. Mother Earth will thank you.