Understanding Single Stream Recycling

Going green — By on January 24, 2009 at 8:47 am
244299 f248 Understanding Single Stream Recycling

The Garbage Museum

A few years back, I took my girls to The Garbage Museum, in Stratford CT. Don’t worry, I take them to all kinds museums and this one sounds much worse then it really is. It is actually quite amazing. I learned so much from watching the process of recycling and was completely disgusted by the amount of trash that was processed.

Oh, yes, and the kids learned something too. They loved Trash-O-Saurus and getting to walk through a giant compost pile up close and personal! After that trip, we all had a solid understanding of how recycling works. Technology changes rapidly though, even in the world of trash.

We use to be required to separate all of our recycling. Not anymore. One day a new, enormous bin showed up at our house and we were informed that all of our recycling should be dumped in it. Together. I was confused. I continued to separate everything. Then I saw the new truck, the “arm” reach out and dump everything in the truck together, and it finally sunk in.

Then I started to wonder. I was suspicious actually. What are they doing? Are they really recycling everything properly? A stickler for cleanliness, it didn’t really feel right.

This video series (which seems to be designed for kids but is very helpful for resistant adults like me) explains the entire process of single stream recycling. It sounds so pretty, doesn’t it? Single stream recycling. It sounds clean too!

Chapter 1 (these are brief )

Chapter 2: The MRF (what’s a MRF?)

Chapter 3: Paper (this is really cool)

Chapter 4: The Metal Smelter (sounds fun, don’t ya think?)

Chapter 5: Plastic

Chapter 6: Glass (I hope you aren’t getting bored…we’re almost done)

Chapter 7: Overseas (You made it !)

I hope that clears up any confusion you may have had about single stream recycling. I think making it easier for everyone is a wonderful step. The easier it is, the more receptive people will be to following through on a daily basis.

Do you have single stream recycling in your area? If not, don’t you wish you did?

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