Springfield is neighbor city from Northampton, MA, it took 21 minute drive to get there. My host took me to visit Springfield to see their municipal recycling facility. The Springfield Materials Recycling Facility Advisory Board, a recycling organization in Western Massachusetts, exists to promote recycling and to advise the Department of Environmental Protection and the Materials Recycling Facility about enhancing and sustaining recycling in the region. They are inspired by a concern for their environmental future and they strive to communicate the importance of recycling.
The Western Massachusetts Regional Recycling Program serves 74 communities in the four western counties of the state. The cornerstone of the program is the Springfield Materials Recycling Facility (MRF). It accepts recyclable materials from participating communities at no charge. The MRF was started as a state program to promote recycling by making it readily accessible to the communities of western Massachusetts.
Massachusetts produces 4 tons of waste per day. If all this waste is directly brought to the landfill will have many impacts, air pollution, water pollution, soil becomes nutrient loss. Recycle is one of the solutions to handle environmental pollution. Actually recycle is easy, for example paper and cardboard juice. Every day paper and drink cartons become one of the garbage, whereas is easy to recycle paper or drink cartons. Recycled papers are used extensively by companies because they want to be actively involved in maintaining the environment. When we recycle paper we are saving thousands of trees in a year.
In addition to paper, plastic bottles become waste generated in large quantities. Massachusetts produces 9000 bottles / minute plastic bottle. Then, aluminum and glass bottles.
Lots of goods that we consider this waste can be recycled into goods that have benefits and economic value. Like our jacket made from synthetic, do not be surprised if one of the materials is from recycled plastic, then carton juice / milk can be toilet paper, and glass bottles can be made into glass bottles again.
Then, have we ever wondered what happened to all the waste in the recycle place. After the officer picks up the garbage we have sorted, then all of this waste will be brought to MRF. The mechanism is as follows:
- The garbage truck will be weighed, then put all the waste in its place (plastic, aluminum, and cans in plastic area, paper and paperboard area in paper and carton area).
- All waste will be placed on a machine that has a conveyor belt in each area. Here there are staffs on duty to sort the garbage in the conveyor belt. Such as conveyor belt for plastic, staffs will take the items that can’t be recycled such as plastic containers, pizza boxes, Styrofoam, wire hangers and plastic bags. This is because there is no market that wants this material and also there is no technology that can recycle it now.
- For cans and aluminum, all also put in the conveyor belt there’s just a giant magnetic that will help sort it. Especially for glass bottles will be sorted by staffs with bottle color system, green, clear and brown.
- After that, all the waste will be compressed into big cube. For plastic weighing more than 1,500 lbs, for cans in one big cube load 3,600 cans.
- Then the big cube will be sent to companies that need it and manage it further.
MRF has the task of sorting and pressing all the existing waste. MRF does not do the next process that is processing the materials. We should all try to reduce waste that we create and reuse as much as possible. Let’s start sorting out our waste and recycling it!