Written by Keith Blackmar, Public Information Officer, WCSO Sunday, 05 December 2010 20:46
Keep Wakulla County Beautiful (KWCB), through the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office, sponsored a recycling contest at Shadeville Elementary School in celebration of America Recycles Day. Classes competed with each other to win a trip to Marpan’s recycling facility in Tallahassee for a behind the scenes look at what happens to all of the recycled material once it leaves their classrooms. Kasey Brown’s second grade class won the contest and was joined by Bethany Mathers’ E.S.E. class for a tour of the recycling center Tuesday, Nov. 23.
Once the contest winners arrived they were greeted by Marpan’s General Manager Nancy Paul and were led to a green area in front of the facility for a question and answer session before the tour began. Nancy explained that Marpan was the only Class 111 recycling facility in the area and that Marpan is also a Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) where recyclables are reclaimed for marketing to end user manufacturers.
The students listened as she explained the types of items taken in and what the items could be remanufactured into. The children asked many questions and were fascinated to learn all of the different things that this “trash” could be turned into. “We were all impressed when we learned that we were actually standing on wood chips that were created using recycled wood that had been reclaimed from construction debris,” said KWCB Director Erica Morse.
After the first round of questions, Nancy led the group to the front of the recycling facility where they watched as a giant crane loaded mixed materials onto huge belts. Workers sorted all of the mixed items into large bins of plastic, concrete, wood, metal and aluminum. “As we passed a huge bin of glass, one of the second graders asked how it could be recycled and Nancy explained that the glass would be crushed into fine particles and then mixed with other products to create asphalt,” said Morse.
Next to the recycling machinery, there was a giant stack of plastics that the group learned would eventually be used to make heavy plastics which are used in the manufacturing of car parts.
After the tour, Dana Link of Marpan treated the group to juice and cookies and the children were able to ask some more questions. Nancy said that she was very impressed by the student’s knowledge and remarked on how great all of their questions were and how well versed the children were on recycling processes.
In turn, the students were all very thankful for the opportunity to tour such an amazing facility and were glad to find out what happened to all of the recycling that they were collecting in their classroom.
“Keep Wakulla County Beautiful would like to thank Nancy Paul, Dana Link and the entire staff at Marpan Recycling for a wonderful and educational experience and a special thanks to Principal Susan Brazier and all of the Shadeville students and teachers who participated in the contest and who make recycling a part of their lives throughout the year,” Morse concluded.
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