Hello, my name is Taylor Moon. I am an 18-year-old high school senior attending Primavera Online High School in Mesa, Arizona. I plan to continue my education, and this scholarship would greatly help me reach my goals. I am striving to become an engineer closely working with the recycling process/ metal shredder residue downstream separation. I feel so driven toward recycling that I have worked at Scrap Metal Exchange in Tempe, AZ and am currently employed at We Buy Scrap in Mesa, AZ. My job is to break items down, grade materials, and operate heavy machinery.

When it comes to plastics, I am not as knowledgeable as metals, but I would love to learn more. I do know municipal recycling operations are broken, and this starts with commingled recycles. When all the recycles are mixed together, the value decreases and contamination increases, There is almost no market for mixed colored glasses, and that makes it very hard for beverage makers to utilize it. The crushed glass usually becomes an aggregate. In addition, when residents put trash and liquids in the recycles, it often leads to the whole load being landfilled.I’ve been to the landfill and seen whole transfer station semi’s dumping cardboard and plastics into the rubbish. In addition., MRF’s are highly inefficient. This is because in my state people are hired to manually sift through material, and at a high conveyor belt speed many plastics/paper are improperly separated. A magnet is usually used for steel cans, so that is ok. This leads to contamination, and contamination leads to extremely low commodity values. I know PET, and HDPE are the more valuable commodities, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the workers look solely for those and disregard the #3-7 plastics. I know unlike metals, plastic and paper can only be recycled about 5 to 7 times. My goal is to one day learn to make the process more efficient and prolong the life of the material.

Essay by: Taylor Daniel Moon
Primavera Online High School

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stand Up Pouches & Bags