Many Western New Yorkers are marking Earth Day this weekend, and in South Buffalo, some are doing their part to make the world a better, greener place by learning more about recycling.
Modern Disposal Services hosted its annual open house at its Buffalo Recycling Enterprises facility Saturday.
It’s a chance for community members to see for themselves how what they put out at the curb gets back out onto the global market.
“As people are going through, they can see how it’s separated into different commodities, it’s bailed up and then it’s shipped and made into new material,” said Susan Attridge, Director of Refuse & Recycling for City of Buffalo.
Modern Disposal Services processes about 300 to 400 tons of recyclable material every day at it’s South Buffalo facility.
Seeing how the material is processed represented an interesting learning experience for those who attended the open house.
“It’s pretty cool. I like to see how things work,” said 11-year-old Anthony Consiglio, who toured the Buffalo Recycling Enterprise facility with his brother, Vincent, and the other members of Cub Scout Troop 531 on Saturday.
“I’ve seen how they sort the papers and cardboard, and how they take the aluminum out, and it’s a big magnet,” Vincent Consiglio said.
The Cub Scouts know all the recycling work done at this facility makes a big difference for the environment. As they explained, the more that’s recycled, the less that ends up in landfills and in the oceans.
“If you don’t recycle, a plastic bag might go out to the great Pacific garbage patch and it might like kill animals,” Vincent Consiglio pointed out.
“If you just put it in the ground, it’s just going to sit there and rot and destroy everything,” added 10-year-old Noah Crockford.
The Cub Scouts were happy to demonstrate their knowledge about recycling. They’re part of the first generation to grow up completely educated on the subject.
“We see that reflected in the recycling rates that are going up because the young people are the ones who are pushing it through on their homes,” Attridge said.
They were able to make the connection between the concept of recycling and the process in practice, thanks to Saturday’s open house.
It was a learning opportunity for people of all ages. “I learn something from children every day,” said Modern Disposal Service customer service employee Lucinda Burnett, who was helping guide visitors around during the open house. “And I also learn as an adult what to recycle, which I did not know before.”
To learn more about what materials can and cannot be recycled, check out the full information from Buffalo Recycling Enterprises.