Material Recovery Facility reminds residents what materials are recyclable

By Abby Cambiano

Northeast News

Picture this: You’ve had a busy day so you come home, order a pizza, and crack open a cold one. After a satisfying meal, you clean up—but you have a decision to make. Trash it or recycle it? You might think the right choice is to toss both the pizza box and the glass bottle in the recycling bin.

But you’re wrong.

The Material Recovery Facility (22820 MO HWY 291) in Harrisonville, Missouri collects recyclables from the metro area and surrounding counties. Residential curbside pickup and commercial recycling end up here to be sifted through, sorted and shipped off.

Marty Oxman, site manager, said he wants to remind residents not to recycle glass, plastic bags or anything with food residue, such as greasy pizza boxes, in their curbside pickup bins.

While safety measures are taken and maintenance is regular, glass can still be dangerous and damaging to machines. Oxman said that there are other options for recycling materials that the city does not pick up. Ripple Glass has many drop-off locations across the metro, and some grocery stores recycle plastic bags.

“The one thing about KCMO residents is that we do recycle,” Marleen Leonce, senior environmental officer for Kansas City, Missouri, said. “We’re avid recyclers. However, some of us might be a little too enthusiastic about our recycling, our love for recycling. Consequently we put stuff in the bins that is not recyclable.”

Oxman, who has been at the Harrisonville Material Recovery Facility since October 2016, said he has been in the industry practically his whole life.

“I want to make the world a little better place for my kids and my kids’ kids,” Oxman said.

The facility recycles 5,300 tons of material per month, from 150,000 Kansas City households in 2016.

Of that, more than 60 percent is generated by the commercial sector, while about two percent come from area drop off sites throughout the city. The remaining 38 percent comes from residential curbside collection.

The facility recycles paper, plastic, cardboard, steel and aluminum. However, 13.23 percent of the material they receive is non-recyclable and is considered residue. This high level of residue slows down the process and can be harmful to machines and workers.

“Citizens doing what they’re supposed to help us out,” Oxman said. “It’s not the back end residue that’s the problem; it’s the front end at the curb.”

Oxman said excessive residue wastes money and that cleanliness is really important in the facility. He said the main goal is “to keep human hands safe.” The facility will be adding an additional step to further separate residue from clean recycling later this week.

Fifty-two people are employed at the facility, and they work in two 9.5 hour shifts. The employees work along with the machines to sort the recycling by type, also removing residue. The pre-sorters have an “integral role” in the following process because they remove rigid plastics, cardboard and trash after the recyclables go through a drum feeder to break up the unwanted glass. Because the conveyor belt moves fast, the pre-sorters have to have a keen eye and a quick hand.

“If we just take the time to be more intentional and figure out what are the acceptable materials on the curb, we can do a better job recycling,” Leonce said.

A machine separates 3D from 2D material, and then the 3D material goes through optics to get sorted. A magnet removes steel, while aluminum is removed by an eddy current on a belt. After that, the separated commodities are formed into bales and sold to companies to reuse, both domestically and internationally.

Comments are closed.

  • Shooting near Denver and Smart in Northeast KC

    18 hours ago
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News A shooting near the intersection of Denver and Smart Avenues in the Historic Northeast on […]


    NEKC Chamber is Calling Commercial Real Estate Developers

    October 18th, 2017
    by

    Melissa Wharton Northeast News If you saw any slow-driving buses last Wednesday, they were most likely part of NEKC Chamber […]


    Library set to launch refugee photography series

    October 17th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News The Kansas City Public Library will soon be offering a snapshot into the lives of […]


    KCMO Parks Director elected president of national organization

    October 16th, 2017
    by

    By Melissa Wharton Northeast News Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Director Mark McHenry was elected in September as president […]


    Northeast Newscast Episode 29 w/ KCPD’s new Community Initiative Officer Jason Cooley

    October 13th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News This week on the Northeast Newscast, KCPD’s newly appointed Community Initiative Officer, Jason Cooley, sits […]


  • 
New design revealed for high-crash Paseo Gateway intersection

    October 12th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News According to Parks and Recreation project manager James Wang, the intersection of Independence Avenue and […]


    KCMO Mayor Sly James launches campaign for Amazon’s HQ2

    October 11th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News If there was ever any doubt, Mayor Sly James revealed just how serious he is […]


    Northeast Farmers Market Tests out CSA Program

    October 11th, 2017
    by

    Melissa Wharton Northeast News Northeast Farmers Market is offering the community another way to support and be benefited by local […]


    Community split on KCMO short-term rental policy

    October 11th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Have you ever considered renting your house out to make a little extra cash? You […]


    Single terminal renderings kick off final phase of airport campaign

    October 11th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News The final month of promotion before Kansas City’s billion-dollar single terminal airport vote began with […]


  • What’s Happening

    retorts illustrated by bryan stalder

    NEKCHS 6th Annual Historic Homes Tour In Pendleton Heights

    Delaware one of the city’s oldest streets

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Most of the buildings shown in this Southwest News Company postcard published in 1907 were demolished […]

  • Local Weather

  • [Advertisement.]