Recycling some products becomes somewhat hit and miss because of volumes and large enterprises such as McDonalds make conscious efforts to improve their recycling issues.
This idea is based around that restaurant's colorful packaging and is as applicable to other places with similar disposal issues.
It is a high tech semi automated proposition which (over time) can migrate to full automation as the technologies involved mature with the use of the system.
Basically adaptation of machine vision technology detects the color of the product in the first instance and operates gates which segregate material by color into collector bins which can then be sorted into material types for recycling.
Sorting by color is more readily accomplished than reading barcodes (for example), although the same basic system can be adapted to do that task as well.
Any material that ends up in the unknown bin can either be sorted by human operators or recirculated through the system.
Full use of HMI (Human-Machine Interface) methodology would provide employment, ensure orderly processing of the system, as well as relieving landfill issues and future material shortages.
As larger populations such as India and China move into the consumer society aspects of their economies demand for raw materials will escalate leading to cost increases and shortages.
This idea relieves parts of that future crisis providing alternatives by using recycled materials, and when popularized the methodology and adaptations of it would be the foundations for relatively sophisticated technology in both developed and emerging manufacturing societies which in turn will lead to planet wide improvements via HMI and in turn improve Quality of Life.