To understand a bit more about the recycling process, the 1st and 2nd graders went to the recycling facility in Ann Arbor. Materials Recovery (not Recycling) Facility or MRF, is the place where everything we put into the Blue Recycling bins go to be processed. Once the materials are separated they go to various places around the State and country to be made into new products. We learned to look for the Recycling sign on paper, plastics, and even clothes to know if recycled materials used in their production.
Before going into the actual facility we needed to "suit up" to be safe. We were all set with our close-toed shoes, but we also had to protect our eyes and heads, along with a vest so people could see us easily. We also found out we were supposed to wear long pants (oops, we didn't know). We were lucky they had some cover-ups pants they let people borrow.
The first thing we noticed entering the sorting plant was a strong, unpleasant smell. This taught us first hand why it is so important to rinse containers before putting them in the recycling bins. Yuck, the poor people who have to sort containers that have not been rinsed.
While one group went on the tour, the other groups got to make paper, read books, find out about composting, play games, and read riddles about what recycled products were in items we use everyday.
One of the tour guides told me that he was impressed with how kind and helpful the children were to each other. I told the class they should be very proud of their behavior on the trip to resulting in such a nice compliment.
Thank you to Mackenzie and Evan for an enjoyable and informative tour.
If you would like to see a bit about the facility or your child would like to "re-visit", click here.