During a recent tour of the facility with Vanese Flood Gordon, waste education and enforcement officer, and Stephen Gilbert, acting materials recycling officer, the team at the facility have been able to expand from just recycling tin, aluminium and glass to recycling bulky waste including e-waste, air conditioners and car batteries.

"The facility is 99 percent automated, which has freed us up to do other things and that is still very much evolving," says Mrs Flood Gordon. "We used to have to handle the bags and separate everything by hand. Now that is all done by machine. Because the system is so automated it has opened up our suite of products that we can deal with. It used to take a week to sort out a week's worth of recycling."

Now the team package up batteries and ship them out in special boxes lined with thick bags and padded out with filler to absorb any spills. Over the last year the facility has sent off 24 containers of batteries. Air conditioners are also packaged up and sent out in tact. There is also a collection three times a year of e-waste, which has proved increasingly popular with businesses. The most recent drive saw people dropping off everything from computers to hair dryers and battery operated toys.

The collected e-waste is sent to a facility in Philadelphia that is fully EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) certified, says Mrs Flood Gordon. The company also maintains a good record of properly disposing equipment that may contain sensitive information such as that stored on a hard drive.

"The opening of this plant has made it possible for us to target things that we didn't feel comfortable about sending down to the Airport facility," she adds.

Both Ms Flood Gordon and Mr Gilbert say they would welcome the introduction of a vehicle recycling facility down at the Airport Dump and added that is on their 'wish list'.

But they add that recycling from the general public and a decrease in purchasing and throwing away goods needs to continue to happen.

"I hear a whole litany of excuses as to why people don't recycle. But it is starting to get better as more Bermudians live in other countries where recycling is more prevalent. But it can be hard for Bermudians to understand why we should be recycling things when we don't see the impact of it here."

She adds that the current facility has made for a much more relaxed system of recycling where items don't need to be separated into different bags.

When you think that 15 percent of trash that is sent to Tynes Bay is recyclable it's a shame that more people are not picking up their blue bags.

For a unique Christmas gift this year, why not outfit your or a family members' home with a recycling station and even a composting bin for the garden. According to Mrs Flood Gordon, another 20 percent of the waste going to Tynes Bay is compostable. Compost bins can be bought from Waste Management.

For more information or any questions pertaining to recycling and composting the MRF team can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 501-3024.

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