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Eco-Reps Visit Waste Management Facility

December 2, 2014
Employees dressed in hard hats, safety vests, glasses and ear plugs

Penn’s Staff & Faculty Eco-Reps came face-to-face with the literally mountainous volume of waste generated in our city during their visit to Waste Management’s Philadelphia Material Recovery Facility.

Geared up in hard hats, safety vests, glasses and ear plugs, the Eco-Reps and Andrea Kreiner, Penn’s Sustainability Consultant, toured the facility while the full Waste Management staff was on the sorting lines. At this residential recycling facility in Northeast Philadelphia, the Eco-Reps watched giant magnets pull out ferrous metals from the conveyor belt, kick aluminum cans out of the waste stream, and sort cardboard, paper, and plastic bottles.

Lessons learned from the tour included insight that plastic bags are better returned to the grocery store than put in the recycling bin because they clog up the sorting machines, and that recycled items should be clean and empty, but they don’t need to be pristine to go in the bin. The Eco-Reps plan to use what they saw at Waste Management to improve their green programs back in their own offices. View their tour photos here.

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