Material Recycling Facility Experience

As I enter the murf in my yellow hardhat and bright orange safety vest, my ears are bombarded with simultaneous sounds of crushing glass, clinking machinery, and sharp, loud bangs. My nostrils are consumed with an unpleasant odor as I make my way through this maize-like structure. Bang. Crush. I look down to see magazines traveling passed crate-filled plastics which stretch above my head. It’s raining plastic bottles. Clink. Masked people vigorously whiz their hands through materials and sorting them with a toss into large chutes. Bang. The floor vibrates. Clink. Huge compacted recycled boxes fill the room as they are ready to be reused.


About MichelinaMotionArt

Screendance: Merging of cinematography and dance.

4 Responses to “Material Recycling Facility Experience”

  1. The workers quickly throw broken bottles, magazines, and toys into their designated containers, as they quickly zoom past them. The machine’s loud roar spins furiously, sorting the recyclable materials. There’s a strange sweet scent, as the cold air fills the murf. The workers don’t seem to mind, zoned in out their tedious jobs, as the trucks add more to the mountains of materials.

  2. The first thing we notice is the noise– a low, roaring hum that fills the warehouse-like facility. Then there’s the smell– not overwhelming, but distinctively unpleasant, like week-old lasagna. Moving along, our group is confronted with a myriad of visual stimuli: levels of conveyor belts carry milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles, and old newspaper adds with alarming speed as workers in hard hats and jumpsuits rapidly sort them. This is Ann Arbor’s Municipal Recycling Facility (or the ‘MURF’, as it’s so affectionately referred to by our guide), one of only roughly 130 of its kind nationwide, and its awe-inducing power likely has something to do with the fact that millions of tons of recyclables pass through this small warehouse each year.

  3. It’s a dimly lit maze of catwalks and staircases littered with bits of refuse and broken glass. The air is heavy with the pungent stench of rotting waste, and the din of machinery overwhelms the hearing with as much force as the smell of the place. The initial effect is temporary disorientation, not unlike the first few steps into a sideshow funhouse. The workers shuffle around conveyor belts, enveloped in layers of protective gear, creating a vague impression of mutant Oompa-Loompas that have found their way offscreen, and have become employed in the real world.

    I was impressed by the efficiency of the machinery in sorting out the different materials – as messy as the place was, it worked a lot better than I would have guessed. Then again, I’m not sure WHAT I had expected. I was very happy to hear that the employees were being paid at least 12.00 an hour – at least some bit of compensation for going home in clothes that surely attract flies from every corner of the neighborhood. I wonder how many of them keep a plastic bin in the garage or foyer so that they can disrobe before actually coming into the house… (Pics)

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