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My First Trip to a Materials Recovery Facility, Wow! (PHOTOS)

06/17/2010 10:25 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Last June, I took a trip to Action Carting's 30,000 square foot brand new Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) located in the Bronx. It was an unseasonably muggy day and as I hiked the seemingly endless trek from the train to the address scribbled on a post it stuck to the back of my blackberry, I thought, why did I agree to this. I had no idea what I was about to witness:The Action MRF has the capability to sort five different materials at one time: paper, cardboard, aluminum, plastic, and glass. Currently the facility handles 200-300 tons daily adding up to approximately 5,000 to 6,000 tons monthly. The sorting line has eight chutes using both automated and manual sorting. The manual sorting was pretty incredible, the belt moves at a speed of approximately thirty feet per minute- it has pause and resume buttons to ensure the capture of majority of the recyclable material and you'd be amazed how much non-recyclable material people put in the recycled bin.

First Trip To Material Recycling Facility - Elizabeth Meltz Blog