Recycling is a crucial topic in today’s society. It’s vital to recycle because of the amount of waste poured into our landfills every day. The concept of “reusing” has grown in popularity, especially in recent years. Those involved with Massachusetts recycling are becoming more aware of recycling’s importance. With the help of individuals and businesses, the state of Massachusetts is recycling more than ever!
While for some, recycling is a lifestyle; for others, it’s a hassle- mixed emotions of apprehensiveness towards “What can you recycle?”, “What happens to recycling?”, and “Where does Massachusetts recycling go?” Many are hesitant to recycle because they feel as though it’s a wasted effort. Those who recycle are unsure of what can be recycled, causing them to recycle more (or less) than they should.
When your Massachusetts recycling is collected, do you often find yourself wondering where your recycling is going? Well, to make a long story short, after it is taken from the curbside, it has to be sorted. When Massachusetts recycling is sorted, it goes through a network of conveyor belts that are able to separate like-materials. Through bouncing and blowing, materials find their correct path, and are eventually sorted. The sorting is done with a machine, composed of conveyor belts that amount to almost a mile long in length. Believe it or not, the machine can sort about 300 tons of Massachusetts recycling every day!
What happens to recycling? How does each material get sorted?
Fans blow up light material like paper and some plastics. While paper is being blown up, heavy materials like glass are being dropped onto a separate conveyor belt. After this stage, the light recycling materials are bounced across a series of rubber wheels. This allows paper to continue up the steep belt, causing plastics and metals to fall down onto another conveyor belt. The plastics and metals are run below powerful electromagnets. The magnets pull metals away from the mix. This leaves behind plastic and other materials to be separated. After this step, the plastics and other miscellaneous materials are brought in front of a team to be hand-sorted.
Once the Massachusetts recycling has been sorted, it has to be prepared for reuse. In order to distribute Massachusetts recycling around the state, the sorted recyclables are placed into bailing machines. The machines are able to compact all the recyclables, making them into cubes. A bail of paper made from Massachusetts recycling is worth $200. A bail of aluminum is worth almost ten times more than a bail of paper. Shaping these items into cubes allows for easy transportation. After the sorting phase of Massachusetts recycling, it’s distributed across the state and to other places to be reused.
Massachusetts recycling has designated places for all material, including office paper, newspapers, and plastics. The article below from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection explains Massachusetts recycling, giving ease to “recyclers” curious of “Where does my Massachusetts recycling go?”
Where Does It All Go?
Thanks, Massachusetts, for not throwing it all away!
You’re recycling more than ever! There are more than 334 recycling programs across the state that collect a wide range of materials. Massachusetts residents recycle over 500,000 tons each year! This is made possible with the help of more than 1,400 Massachusetts businesses that collect, process or use these materials to manufacture new products. Some material is ultimately shipped out-of-state or overseas to be recycled. You may be surprised to know that the cardboard you recycled last month will soon return to Massachusetts as packaging for a new TV or computer.
Recycle. A little effort, a Big difference.
Where does it all go? Some examples include:
Material Sent to Recycled into… Office paper Salem, Westborough, and Charlestown Office paper and various paper products Newspapers, magazines, junk mail and mixed paper Erving, Haverhill, and Fitchburg Cereal and cracker boxes, book covers and game boards Boxboard and corrugated cardboard Worcester, Westborough Cardboard Aluminum cans Westport, Westborough Cans, rain gutters, and window frames Steel cans Everett Steel cans, bicycles, paper clips, steel beams, and other steel products Plastic soda bottles Lawrence, Westborough Polyester fleece and carpet Milk jugs, detergent bottles and other plastics Leominster Plastic lumber and decking Margarine & yogurt tubs and lids Ontario, Canada Floor tiles, garbage cans, and pallets Glass Franklin, Milford Glass bottles and jars Electronics Gardner, Stoughton, Brockton, and Fall River Refurbished electronics, plastics, and metals
To learn how to recycle in your community visit: www.earth911.org
What are examples of Massachusetts recycling businesses?
Massachusetts has a long and proud history of businesses and non-profit organizations that recycle raw materials that would otherwise be disposed. Some examples include:
The Building Materials Resource Center of Roxbury collects and sells used building materials such as kitchen cabinets, windows, and appliances. Everyone benefits, as contractors save on disposal costs, building owners get a tax deduction, and low-income customers purchase products at discount prices.
Encore Images of Marblehead collects and remanufactures computer printer toner cartridges from commercial businesses.
E.L. Harvey & Sons of Westborough provides collection services for municipalities and businesses that generate recyclable paper and cardboard, bottles and cans, and construction and demolition debris. E.L. Harvey sorts materials and sells them to manufacturers who use the raw materials to make recycled content products.
ProPel PlasTech of Deerfield recycles scrap plastics by regrinding and selling them to manufacturers that use the plastics in their products.
The Newark Group collects, processes and manufactures recycled paper products. Newark’s mills in Fitchburg and Haverhill use recycled newspaper, magazines and office paper collected from cities and towns to make a number of products, including 100% recycled-content paperboard for packaging cereal and many other consumer products.
Note: This list is a sampling of Massachusetts recycling businesses. It does not constitute an endorsement of any listed company.
Reusing what could potentially go into a landfill, will lower the amount of waste and pollution we produce dramatically. Many who recycle are unaware that recycling items, such as aluminum cans, are worth a lot. Aluminum can be reused into steel cans, bicycles, paper clips, steel beams, and other steel products. Instead of tossing old construction material, companies such as The Building Materials Resource Center of Roxbury, recycle the materials. This type of Massachusetts recycling benefits everyone including contractors, building owners, and low-income consumers.
The possibilities we have with Massachusetts recycling have the potential to greatly benefit the state. If our entire population of around 6,500,000 contributed to Massachusetts recycling on a daily basis, we could see a drastic cut in what we are throwing away.
Begin the New Year with new habits by recycling. Benefit you, the planet, and others on it. If you have any questions as to how you can make a difference in your neighborhood, feel free to contact us at Southwick’s Zoo.