Jill Buck is the Founder and Executive Director of the Go Green Initiative and is also the owner of Buck Consulting. Jill lives with her family in Pleasanton, California. Full Bio
By: Doug Cassaro
I was lucky enough last week to be one of the parents chosen to accompany my daughter’s class to the local waste transfer station. Lucky you say? Yes, in fact I wish everyone could get the chance to see up close and personal what happens after the garbage truck leaves your curb with your trash. First, the children were taken into the Education Center where the instructors discussed the 4 R’s; yes there are 4 of them now! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot! We then were taken over to the MRF (Materials Recovery Facility), this machine accepts fully commingled recyclable materials (all recyclable materials are put in one curbside bin) and then separates them by both manual and mechanical sorting methods. After viewing the MRF we were taken over to what they call the “PIT”, we all had to put on hard hats and vests to visit this area to make sure that we were safe and could be seen. The “Pit” was very interesting; it contains all the trash that people have not recycled. The most interesting and eye opening part was looking at this large amount of trash (about 6 million lbs a day from throughout the county I was in) and seeing all the items that could have been reused or recycled! I now really think twice about everything I put in the trash, could it be reused, recycled or composted? If you are able, take a tour of your local waste transfer station. If you can’t, or even if you can, think about everything you put in the trash from now on and try to figure out if it really needs to end up in the landfill!