The annual MARR forum always provides the opportunity to learn more about recycling and waste management.
Here are a few things I learned this year.
Tie a knot in plastic bags when throwing them away and they won’t blow around. Of course the better thing to do is use reusable bags.
As more and more dumps/landfills become places that also collect recyclables, hazardous waste, and compost they need a new name. They are materials management facilities.
There are 11 licensed compost facilities in Manitoba. Five are privately owned and six are operated by municipalities. There are grants available to develop large compost sites.
Recycling has always been cyclical. It is currently in the downward part of the cycle. It was brought on by China only accepting recyclables that are 98% pure. This has resulted in companies deciding to bring idle recycling mills in North America back into production.
Some of the mills are being purchased by Chinese companies who need the recyclables for their production. The plan is to use the mills here to remove contamination and send the clean products (mostly plastics and fiber like corrugated cardboard) to manufacturers in China. It will probably be at least two years before this makes a difference in the markets.
There was a very interesting tour of ReGen Composites. This company has patented a process that turns all mixed plastics (except number 6) including plastic bags and film, and waste paper and wood into building materials that are strong and rot resistant.
There is a picture of our commingle bales at the Emterra recycling plant in Winnipeg. I know they are our bales because we write the weight and date on our bales.