VID Field Trip to Recycling Center

Jun 22, 2024

VID Trip to Sunset Park Material Recycling Facility: 

Thank you to everyone who joined us on the VID-sponsored tour of the Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility (MRF). The visit aimed to understand the processes involved in the sorting, processing, and recycling of various waste materials and the questions surrounding the recycling of specific materials.  For a full report of the tour click HERE.  A HUGE thank you to VID's Environmental Committee Chair, Nat Johnson for organizing this really amazing tour.  

Overview: Operated by Balcones Recycling, the facility covers 11 acres and handles over 15,000 tons monthly from NYC's Department of Sanitation via barge, rail, and truck. Equipped with advanced machinery like conveyors and optical sorters, it starts at the receiving area where materials are sorted manually to remove contaminants and bulky items. Automated systems follow, using trommels, air classifiers, and magnets to sort materials further. Optical sorters enhance plastic sorting accuracy. Quality control ensures standards are met before materials are baled for shipment. Benefits include waste reduction and resource recovery, though challenges include economic viability and contamination. Future improvements could include advanced technology and facility expansion to meet growing waste demands.