Rubbish reduction

MCSWMA promotes recycling; explains process, precautions

Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority Director of Operations Brad Austin explains the daily functions of the authority's recycling facility. The new recycling facility has been running since November, with single-stream recycling becoming available to Marquette County residents just a month before that. (Journal photo by Katie Segula)

MARQUETTE — Officials with the Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority have been working at reducing the intake at the landfill this year while offering tours to help inform the community about the landfill and recycling operations in Marquette County.

The authority’s new recycling facility has been running since November, with single-stream recycling becoming available to Marquette County residents just a month before that.

The MCSWMA recycling process begins in the new corrugated metal hoop building. The front of the building is open for haulers to drop recyclables.

“If you put (recyclables) in your recycling bin, we can put it through this process and we can take it to its most useful life,” said MCSWMA Director of Operations Brad Austin. “Or you can put it (in the landfill), and once you put it (in the landfill), it never comes out. So we built this with the idea that we wanted to show both pictures.”

A front-end loader pushes the cardboard, paper, plastic and metal toward a winding conveyor belt. MCSWMA employees sift through the commingled recyclables coming down the belt and remove specific materials from the conveyor.

The recycling moves past a programmed machine that continues the sorting and from the machine, it goes to organized storage areas where recyclables are stacked in bales to wait for shipment to multiple areas — including a facility in Wisconsin — where the material is sold.

“One of the biggest issues (for residents) has been,” Austin said, “how do I do it and where is it going?”

MCSWMA officials offer facility tours to residents, businesses and municipalities to educate and work together with Marquette County residents, Austin said.

Furthermore, Austin and the MCSWMA Board of Trustees are finding ways through tours and communications with municipalities to make the recycling process more accessible to all county residents.

Austin emphasized the Recycle 906 website at www.recycle906.com is a resource for people to check the recycling option before tossing an item in the garbage. The website also offers a search wizard resource that allows people to find out the proper disposal method for a given item or substance.

For example, a search for “pumpkins” yields advice to bring it to the Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority’s organics drop-off program as the best option, with placing the item in the garbage listed as a secondary option.

A search for “e-cigarettes” or “vapes” — which can often contain lithium-ion batteries — indicates that this type of item isn’t collected curbside and recommends the MCSWMA Household Hazardous Waste Program as the best — and only — option for disposal, with a link to more information about collection dates.

Lithium ion batteries remain a concern for the authority due to the safety hazards presented by the batteries, which can catch fire when damaged, Austin said.

Austin said it’s critical to find a battery disposal site instead of placing batteries in the recycling or garbage and advises residents to call MCSMWA with any questions about battery disposal at 906-249-4125 or visit recycle906.com for more information.

Battery disposal sites in Marquette County are as follows, according to recycle906.com:

≤ Goodwill, 3125 U.S. 41, Marquette

≤ Peter White Public Library, 217 N. Front St., Marquette

≤ Marquette Food Co-op, 502 W. Washington St., Marquette

≤ Messiah Lutheran Church, 305 W. Magnetic St., Marquette

≤ Superior Watershed, 2 Peter White Drive, Marquette

≤ Yellow Dog Watershed , 308 Bensinger St., Big Bay

≤ St. Vincent de Paul Marquette, 2119 Presque Isle Ave., Marquette

≤ St. Vincent de Paul Ishpeming, 322 Cleveland Ave., Ishpeming

≤ St. Vincent de Paul Republic, 316 Kloman Ave., Republic

≤ St. Michael Catholic Church, 401 W. Kaye Ave., Marquette

≤ United Presbyterian Church, 112 E. Euclid St., Ishpeming

Katie Segula can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is ksegula@miningjournal.net.


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