Have you ever wondered what happens to your recycling after its picked up? The folks at the Mayor’s Hotline get recycling questions all the time, so they found out first hand on Wednesday by visiting the Casella Recycling Plant in Charlestown. “The plant was absolutely fascinating,” said Janine Coppola, Director of the Mayor’s Call Center.
During the tour, plant officials explained how the collection/disposal of actual trash exceeds the cost of recycling, not to mention the environmental impacts. Janine shared her most interesting observations: the overall cleanliness of the facility; the massive machinery with conveyor belts, gigantic magnets, optical eyes, etc.; how much recycling this place processes daily; and how quickly recyclable materials are moved through the system (from being dumped by a truck to being sorted and baled) in 8 minutes! There is a virtual tour of the facility at www.casella.com.
“It’s so important get the point across how easy and cost-efficient it is to recycle,” Coppola said and shared some ideas that she uses herself and tells residents that call in.
- Keep two smaller containers in their apartment — one just for trash and one just for recyclables (people will find that they generate far less “trash” and far more “recyclables” than they realize);
- Put trash and recyclables out (before 7AM) on the morning of pickup as often as possible so as to significantly decrease the time trash/recycling sits at the curb;
- Take time to separate out and set aside returnable bottles/cans (and make them visible) so that trash-pickers do not rip open bags digging for them and thereby causing spillage;
You can always reach the Mayor’s Call Center at 617-635-4500 or online at Citizens Connect.
Here are some photos of the plant in action. (Photos by Janine Coppola.)
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