Where do recyclables go in our community?

A Better You
putting the ozarks

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Have you ever stopped to think where your aluminum can or plastic bottle goes after you toss it into the recycling bin?

Ashley Krug, the Market Development Coordinator with the City of Springfield Environmental Services, explains!

There are several Materials Recovery Facilities or MRFs (pronounced MURFs) in Springfield where recyclables are sorted out.

We can do things at home that can help the recycling process a bit easier, including making the jobs of people who work in these centers sorting out the trash, a lot easier!

These facilities are a combination of a lot of machinery and people responsible for sorting out recyclables into separate commodities. Their job is to remove items that shouldn’t be in the recycling stream, and currently, there is a LOT to remove.

These items represent recycling contamination, simply putting items that shouldn’t be recycled or are dirty, is a BIG problem at these facilities.

Items like yard waste, plastic bags, batteries, rubber hoses, clothing, even bowling balls are just a few of the items staff often find inside recycling streams.

If not caught, these items can cause sorting machinery to break down or even catch fire, slowing their ability to process our recyclables and even, when too much contamination is present, forcing them to send items to the landfill.

What you can do

Ashley’s Tips:

  • Check for #’s on plastics and ensure that they’re clean of food and drink waste.
  • Keep glass separate from the comingle recycle bins, as it can break and contaminate the entire load.
  • Never put plastic bags inside the recycling bin.
  • When in doubt, throw it out.

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