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Going Green HS Team visit to Waste Facitliy

Thursday, January 24, 2019

 

This week, members of the Going Green High School Team visited the Ecoparc in Sant Adrià de Besòs for an educational tour of the waste separation and incineration facility. Trash from the grey "waste" bins around the Barcelona Metropolitan Area is delivered to the facility. Since some residents don't recycle properly, Ecoparc attempts to separate out as much of the recyclable material as they can through a complex system of machinery and manual sorting. Despite their efforts, they estimate that only 10% of the material collected in the grey bins that is recyclable actually gets removed in their sorting processes. This recovered recyclable material is transported to other facilities for appropriate handling. Ecoparc burns the remaining waste in their incineration facility. The heat created is used to produce electricity with generators, and also to heat some of the nearby public buildings through an underground system of pipes. The by-products of the incineration process are chemically treated so that the gases released are safely below the legal limits for the various pollutants.

The students learned a lot about the waste treatment process in the tour, and were impacted by the sight of so much potentially recyclable material being sent to the incinerators. After the tour concluded, they reflected on the importance of reducing their consumption, opting for more sustainable products, and properly recycling.