Ever wonder how the mishmash in that huge recycling bin you put by the curb very week gets sorted out? The Weekly Green did and paid a visit to Waste Management’s Tucson ‘Recycle America’ facility. Turns out it is not done by magic, but by the deft hands of real people, assisted by a MRF, who try to turn as much of it as possible into a marketable product.
It also turned out that as much as half of the payload is rejected, because it is either not suitable or contaminated, making the product far less competitive than it could be. The market for recycled raw materials has always been tight and has become even tighter recently, because the dramatic fall in oil prices makes it more attractive for manufacturers to make new plastic from scratch – from petroleum – than from recycled plastics. This in turn has a negative impact on the economics of recycling.
There are some simple things all of us can do to enhance the value of recycled raw materials and thereby to improve their competitiveness in the global market. Find out what they are – and what an MRF is – in the Weekly Green’s interview with Isha Cogborn, Waste Management’s Senior Communication Specialist.
Broadcast (3.5 minutes)
Full interview (12.5 minutes)
And, whenever in doubt into which bin something should go, you can visit Waste Management’s website at RecycleOftenRecycleRight.com.
Have a Very Merry and Sustainable Christmas!