Randy Park, Supervisor or Waste Diversion with the City of Winnipeg takes us on a tour of the Materials Recovery Facility to show what happens to the recyclables that go into your Blue Box. Approximately 90% of all material going to Brady landfill can actually be recycled. Can we do more to save money and save the environment?
Hello, I’m Randy Park, Supervisor or Waste Diversion with the City of Winnipeg.
I’m here at the Materials Recovery Facility —MRF for short— to show you what happens to the recyclables that go into your Blue Box.
This facility processes all the recyclables collected from homes, apartments, and recycling depots. The material is separated, baled and shipped to manufacturers who turn them into valuable new products.
Over 45,000 tonnes of material are collected every year from 270,000 homes. That’s an average of 170 kg of recyclables per household each year.
Of the materials that come into the MRF, approximately 65% are paper products and the remaining 35% are food and beverage containers.
After the material from your Blue Box arrives at MRF, the paper materials are separated from the beverage containers by star screens, a series of shafts fitted with rotating cams shaped like stars.
The soft paper is propelled forward, while the more rigid beverage containers fall through the openings between the shafts.
Over 90 per cent of the paper is removed mechanically by the star screens, with the remainder, along with any contaminants, removed by people on a sorting line.
The beverage containers that have fallen through the star screens continue through the equipment to the beverage container sort line.
Before being manually sorted, the containers pass under a magnet to remove ferrous metals, and through a glass breaker screen to remove glass.
Then an eddy current system removes aluminum cans.
Finally, what’s remaining is a low grade mixed plastic material.
The individual materials are then baled and placed in the shipping area where they will be sold and sent to manufacturing plants all over the world.
Winnipeg residents are recycling more than ever. Over the past decade, we’ve nearly doubled our recycling from 23,000 tonnes to 45,000 tonnes each year.
Almost half of a million tonnes of material have been diverted from the City’s landfill since 1995. This may seem a lot, but it is just a small percentage of what we could be recycling.
For every aluminum can we recycle, 4 go to the landfill. That’s more than 1 million dollars worth of aluminum that we’re throwing into our garbage every year.
Approximately 90% of all material going to Brady landfill can actually be recycled.
Can we do more to save money and save the environment?