The rules of recycling explained in Greenfield

Courtesy of MGM Online

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – When it comes to recycling, the Greenfield Department of Public Works is asking everyone to follow the rules.

A resident asked 22News to look into why the town allegedly requested that she lay her recyclable cardboard flat on the ground. We went to the town’s transfer station to find out.

There are rules to recycling. First, pick up a container. You can purchase one from the Greenfield transfer station for $4.

Next, sort and separate your paper and cardboard into a different bin from your tin, aluminum, glass and plastic, and remember, rinse out your bottles and cans.

No Styrofoam, ceramics, wood, or hazardous chemicals should be submitted for recycling.

“Boxes have to be broken down so we can get them into the truck. If they are not broken down then we can’t fit them into the slot that dumps into the truck and we don’t have time to break everything down,” said Greenfield Transfer Station Crew Chief Paul Becklo.

Pick up crews make hundreds of stops every day. Once on the truck, recyclables get hauled to the transfer station, and then sent to a central processing facility in Springfield.

From Paper and cardboard. To glass, plastics and metals. It all gets sorted out and then sent up on a conveyor before finally getting compacted into a cube where it can be resold and repurposed.

“The reason we ask people to follow the rules of recycling is because somebody is buying that material at the other end. Whether they are in the U.S. or overseas. They want to make a good quality product of it so they can sell it. It all gets sorted and process and cleaned up and made into something new,” said Jan Ameen, the CEO of the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District.

What doesn’t get recycled gets burned in an industrial incinerator. Everything from your everyday food waste, to roadkill.

Curbside recycling crews will only take containers that weigh 30 pounds or less. Buying a town recyclable container isn’t required, but the DPW says they are the perfect size.

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