Saturday, April 7, 2012

Center for Environmental Initiatives: Green Drinks

The Center for Environmental Initiatives is hosting a series called Green Drink Events; which "provide opportunities for people to make friends, develop new ideas, and learn from the collective knowledge of the group." This networking opportunity was shared by GrowWNY and as our burgeoning non-for-profit is partnering with Modern Recycling,
I went to represent Living Green Institute and get a sense of the facilities' operations.
The groups of people waiting to visit met for orientation at the Hopkins Street entrance, putting on hard hats and reflective vests and safety glasses. 

There were ten people in the second group that I went with for the tour of the facilities. It was extraordinary how much material and the types of recyclables were
being processed in the plant. The number of machines and people required to completely breakdown and separate and repackage the incoming materials was stunning.
The speed at which the broken down materials flew through the machines was boggling and I wondered about efficiency, but by the time we got to
the end of the tour I could see they were very effective in the processing of each type of recyclable. I was also impressed by the number of safety features in place, ready to be
used in any emergency. The end of the tour was really incredible with the magnets, lasers, static throwers, and balers.
Here thousands of tons of materials, this section is newspaper, was forced through a baler.
Stacks of different types of materials are ready to move on to other facilities that will further break these down to produce paper, new bottles, filling for down jackets,
park benches, new cans of cola, and more! These bales of aluminum cans are worth approximately $100,000 each, and there were dozens of these bales!
Modern Recycling, "for a decade, Modern has collected the methane gas from our landfill, grown hydroponic tomatoes, and found a way to recycle tires, all of which benefit both the community, and the environment." I was impressed and am eager to start working with such an excellent environmentally friendly partner.

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