Where Does the Waste Go?

Welcome to lesson two in my recycling course, today, we’re going to take a look at where the waste goes. So you might wonder what happens to the stuff once it leaves your recycling bin. What happens to all that waste? This photo I took when I toured my local material Recovery Facility, it’s called a murf, where they sort stuff and all the stuff in this picture is supposed to be glass that’s dropping down and you can see it’s a mixture of a whole bunch of different things. contamination is a big problem. We will get into that later. But first, let’s look at the path that your stuff takes. It starts with curbside collection. The trucks come by your curb, pick up your bins and take them off if you live in an apartment building in It’s more of a central dumpster for your building. Then they go to a transfer station to determine what happens next is the stuff recyclable. Now we’ll get into what makes something recyclable in less than three. But if it’s recyclable, it goes to the murf. And at the murf, it gets sorted. And the stuff that can be processed into new materials goes to a manufacturer. They make recycled materials that eventually become new goods that are made from recycled content. But not everything is recyclable. If it’s not recyclable, you can take a look is it organic? And by organic, I mean is it made of a plant based or animal based material? Right food waste, leaves, branches, all that kind of stuff is organic. This is as opposed to inorganic materials, like metals and plastics. So if it’s organic, hey, yes, it can go into making compost. And the compost can eventually end up at a farm, and it can go into the soil and help grow new healthy fruits and vegetables and other crops. But if it’s not recyclable, and it’s not organic, it goes to the landfill. And usually in the landfill, it just sits there forever for decades and decades. It’s amazing. They’ve found in old landfills excavating newspapers from 25 years ago, they’re still legible. So it’s kind of scary, but there is some hope. So in some cases, you can take the methane that comes out of landfills and convert it to energy, which can then bring power back to cities. So all is not necessarily lost. Now at the murf There’s a lot of contaminants and other stuff that’s not recyclable, and it’s excess waste that goes also to the landfill. So these are the general pads that your stuff can take.