REFUSE & RECYCLING
You Recycle . . . Then What ?
THANKS for recycling! When you sort your recyclables from your trash, you take the first step in the recycling process. After you place your recycling bin at your curb or use one of our regional recycling drop-off centers, your recyclables go to the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Southfield. At the MRF, the items you recycle are sorted, baled and shipped to mills and plants where the materials are made into something new.
HOW THE MRF WORKS
1. Recycling trucks arrive at the MRF after picking up recyclables from in front of your home, a drop-off center or business. They are weighed so we know who is recycling how much of what.
2. Trucks then dump mixed containers (glass, plastic, cans, aluminum foil and pie tins) on one side of the building and paper (newspaper, magazines, boxboard and cardboard) on the other. There are two sorting lines: One for containers and one for paper.
3. Bucket loaders push the mixed containers into a pit for the in-feed conveyor belt. The conveyor belt moves the containers into a line of machines affectionately referred to as "Charlotte's Web" because the system is so intricate.
4. Employees remove any non-recyclable materials (contaminants) mistakenly included with the recyclables.
5. Containers then pass through a spinning cylinder with holes in it called a trommel screen. Any glass that is small enough to fall through the holes, goes into a roll-off box and is shipped as "mixed" glass.
6. Then a magnetic system pulls out steel, tin and bi-metal cans. They are stored in a giant cage until they are baled. A blower sends all of the plastic, aluminum foil and pie tins onto a conveyor belt that travels into a sorting room. There, people sort the different types of plastic and aluminum by hand into huge cages for storage.
7. The only material left on the conveyor belt is glass that was too big to fall through the holes of the trommel screen. Employees sort the glass by hand according to color. The glass is shipped, by color, to glass recyclers. The giant plastic and metal storage cages are opened one at a time, from the bottom. Recyclables spill out onto a conveyor belt that travels directly to one of two balers in the MRF.
8. Paper is not paper! Although most paper arrives mixed together, it leaved the MRF sorted by paper type. Your newspaper and coupons stay together and are baled and shipped to a paper mill for recycling. Your magazines are sorted by hand and shipped to a different paper mill. Your cereal-type boxes (boxboard) are sorted from all the rest of your paper and recycled at yet another paper mill. Your corrugated boxes (the kind a new fridge comes in) are sorted from the rest and recycled separately, as well.
9. Office paper collected at drop-offs and from businesses is dumped on the floor, baled and shipped for recycling, separate from all other paper.
10. Once baled, recyclables are stacked near the loading dock to await shipping. Bales of recyclable material are loaded into semi-trailers. Trucks are weighed, so they are not too heavy to be on the road as they travel to "market". Material is shipped to paper mills, plastic or glass recyclers and metal foundries.
On your regular garbage pick up day, place grass clippings, leaves, twigs and any other yard waste in brown paper yard waste bags or in a container clearly marked "Yard Waste". Yard waste stickers are available free of charge at City Hall. Items not accepted as yard waste are the following: Straw, hay, yard waste mixed with trash, apples, logs, tree stumps, dirt, rocks, sod or yard waste in plastic bags.
The City's refuse hauler will also pick up branches if they are less than two (2) inches in diameter and are bundled in four (4) foot lengths. Brush bundles should not exceed forty (40) pounds.
Yard waste season begins the first week of April and runs through the last full week in November.
Recycling . . . Consider This !
Recycling conserves natural resources, conserves energy, reduces pollution and creates jobs.
- If you recycle just the end of a tin can, you save enough energy to run your TV for a half hour.
- If you recycle the entire can, you save enough energy to run your TV for three hours.
- Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours.
- Recycling glass reduces water use by 50%, air pollution by 20% and mining wastes by 80% and saves 9 gallons of fuel oil.
- For every ton of paper you recycle, you save 17 trees, 464 gallons of oil, 42 gallons of gasoline, 4,201 kWh and 7,000 gallons of water.
- Using recycled paper instead of virgin materials reduces air pollution by 74% and water pollution, 76% reduction in water pollution, 97% reduction in mining wastes, 40% reduction in water use, and 90% savings in virgin material used.
- One job is created if a ton of material is land filled. Nine jobs are created if that same ton is recycled instead.