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What's in our carts: Tales from Tim's Recycling Bin

June 27, 2017 02:30 PM
What happens to your recycling after it gets picked up? It goes to what is called a Materials Recovery Facility which we recycling geeks pronounce the acronym as Murf. Here the paper and containers we mixed in our cart get sorted back out into their individual categories. 
We recently visited the MRF for our regularly scheduled quality control checks.
After a load is dumped, crews pull out a sample and sort it out into the individual commodities such as aluminum and cardboard. We’re looking to see what we’re doing right and what we need to improve on.
This year I learned a new term: nesting. That’s when dissimilar items are stuck together and can’t be separated: for instance, this glass bottle inside a cardboard box. Most likely that bottle will remain stuck inside the box and end up in a load of cardboard shipped to a box manufacturer where the bottle you put out to be recycled will end up in the trash.
Also don’t put your recycling in a plastic bag because bags get thrown away without being opened.
Bottom line – put everything in your cart loose.
So these quality control checks gave us feedback on what people are putting in their carts. And we use that feedback to figure out what messages we should put in the newsletter, on the website and in this blog. So until next time, keep up the quality recycling my friends.


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