Earth Day: Recycling Right Is Key For The Future Of Our Environment

CBS4 photojournalist Rafael Murciano had an opportunity recently to tour the Waste Management Recycling Facility in Pembroke Pines to learn how to recycle right, because it can make a huge difference for all of us in South Florida.

Video Transcript

- CBS 4 has its eye on Earth. Today is Earth Day, and we are committed to telling stories about the people and places caring for our environment. Did you know recycling right can make a huge difference for all of us and for the planet?

- We had an opportunity, recently, to tour the Waste Management Recycling Facility located in Pembroke Pines. CBS 4 photojournalist, Rafael Murciano was there, and shows us what they do.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

- Well, it's Earth Day, and everyone can do their part to help our environment by recycling right. Plastic bottles, your water bottles, milk jugs, detergent, shampoo bottles, anything with a narrow neck that's plastic can be recycled.

- It's important for people to understand that recycling is only supposed to be paper, bottles and cans, and aluminum and steel and cardboard.

[CRUNCHING]

You have people putting textiles, such as comforters or couch cushions. You have car parts, as you can see. Look at this. I mean, this is certainly not supposed to be in the recycling.

- When you misplace your lithium ion and other rechargeable batteries in either your household trash or recycling, you cause fires, you cause fires in the back of our trucks, you cause fires in our plant. [INAUDIBLE] Recycling had a really damaging fire here about two months ago, caused hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage, and also could have injured our workers.

- Picture our facility like a car engine. If you put a plastic bag in a running car engine, it's certainly going to jam the equipment, the engine parts. But our recycling facility is the same way. When you put what we call tanglers in there, like plastic bags or chains, people put chains in there, Christmas lights, extension cords, all this material ends up jamming up the equipment and slowing down the process.

- This is where the material first comes in and sorters pick out anything big that would jam the equipment. For example, the car parts, the big plastic bags.

- When we're recycling paper and cardboard, you're saving trees, you're reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The same with plastic. All of this is important to our supply chain and it all helps us improve our environment.