Meet MURF – Placer County’s Eastern Regional Material Recovery Center | SierraSun.com

Meet MURF – Placer County’s Eastern Regional Material Recovery Center

Seth Lightcap
Sierra Sun

Seth Lightcap/Sierra Sun'Dump Diva' Michelle White of the Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal company explains to the tour group how paper is bundled into bails and sold to recyclers.

Leading guests past towering stacks of crushed cans and heaping piles of putrid household waste, representatives of Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal held public tours of Placer County’s Eastern Regional Recovery Center Thursday.

The trash tour highlighted the ‘MURF’ facility’s sorting process in which all of the waste from the North Tahoe region gets picked apart and mined for recyclable, or more accurately, sellable material such as paper, cardboard, aluminum, glass and plastics.

The sorting process begins as household trash, including blue recycling bags, travels past pickers on a conveyor belt. Of all the garbage on the conveyor, 17 percent gets pulled for recycling, unless it has been successfully contained in a sturdy blue bag, which ensures 90 percent of the material gets diverted.

After sorting, both the trash and the “treasure” get packaged for transfer to processing sites or landfills outside the region. The Truckee station has no active landfill zone. Each day 150 tons of true trash leave ‘MURF’ in eighteen-wheeler trucks destined for a landfill in Lockwood, Nev. Biomass waste heads for a processing plant in Loyalton on the northern end of the Sierra Valley.

Of the approximately 80,000 tons of waste that passes through the ‘MURF’ each year, 38 percent gets diverted from the landfill.

While publicly announced tours of the facility have concluded for the year, group tours are still available by appointment.

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150 tons – average amount of North Tahoe trash that heads for a Nevada landfill each day

8 – number of eighteen wheelers needed daily to deliver trash to Nevada.

$1,464 – approximate value of a 1,200-pound bail of aluminum cans on the scrap metal market.

$2.74 – approximate extra amount charged for leaving more than the allotted one can of garbage on the curb for pickup in Truckee.

$0 – cost of leaving extra blue recycling bags on the curb.