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Four New Videos from Recycling Facility Advisory Board
The Springfield Materials Recycling Facility (SMRF) Advisory Board has released four short videos about household recycling to help viewers understand what happens to the materials they recycle. The videos are an antidote to misinterpretations recently shared by media outlets. The new videos are available at springfieldmrf.org and on YouTube (www.youtube.com/@springfieldmrf4175).
These four short videos focus on four different topics: Container Recycling, Paper and Cardboard Recycling, What Happens to Recycled Materials, and Recycling’s Most Unwanted. Produced by Reelife Productions, the videos include interviews with recycling industry experts, footage of recyclables being sorted and baled, and information on the industries that purchase local recyclables for reuse.
These videos will be useful in classrooms, for community sustainability groups, family discussions, social media pages, and other applications. Director and Owner of Reelife Productions, Tom Adams, notes "It's a good feeling to know we are helping to increase the efficiency and efficacy of the recycling program in Massachusetts.”
The SMRF annually processes and sells over 18,300 tons (95%) of the material collected by its 65 western Massachusetts member communities. Major news outlets have reported that “only a small percentage of plastic is recycled,” but that statistic refers to the recycling rate of all plastic manufactured, including durable items not intended or designed for recycling. This figure does not refer solely to the items that residents put in their bins.
This new video series clarifies that the items western Massachusetts residents are instructed to recycle have value to processors and manufacturers who turn the materials into new products and packaging. In fiscal year 2022, through the sales of recyclables to commodity markets, the Springfield MRF paid its 65 member communities a combined revenue share of $375,500.
This new series, along with the already popular Me and My Bin that was released earlier this year, gives western Mass residents a behind-the-scenes look at the environmental and economic values of recycling. The series sends a clear and simple message: Recycling is important, and we each have a role to play.