I took these two pictures at the Orleans County recycling facility of Casella Waste Systems, when I visited as part of a summer program. It looks here as if there is an extremely large amount of recyclable materials being collected in this area. I can't imagine how many recyclable materials would cycle through this facility if all recyclable items we see in trash cans, curb sides, and lakes were responsibly taken care of. I wish I knew an exact number of tons of recyclable materials that are sorted through each day at this recycling center.
At this facility the paper materials are separated from the aluminum cans and plastics by employees on a conveyor belt. I was told that these cubes of recycled materials are then shipped to a different location where they are used to make into new products. Some of these locations are even out of state. It is great to have this facility close by so that we can actually see that the materials we recycle are being properly disposed of. Experiencing this facility has encouraged me to pay more attention to what I throw away or recycle, and even think twice every time I go put something into the trash can.
I think that along with more advertisement about recycling and waste reduction, we should also inform the community about what exactly can be recycled. I know that the recyclable 1 through 7 numbered plastics vary in each county and some people are unsure which ones can be recycled. Clearing up this confusion may greatly reduce the amount of plastics sent to the nearby landfill.