Waste Management recently announced that it plans to bring a single stream recycling facility (SSRF) to the Detroit metropolitan area.
Single stream recycling collection programs are expanding in southeastern Michigan, and to meet customer demand, this planned facility would process the increasing volumes of recyclable material generated by Waste Management's commercial and residential customers across the southeastern part of the state.
A single stream facility eliminates the need for customers to separate recyclable materials prior to collection since sophisticated material-handling equipment inside the SSRF handles the task.
According to Tom Horton, vice president of public affairs for Waste Management's Mid-West Group, this makes it easier for customers to recycle.
Experience has shown that recyclable material volumes increase an average of 20 to 30 per cent after customers switch to single stream collection. Waste Management has 35 SSRFs in operation across the U.S.
"This initiative reflects Waste Management's ongoing efforts to serve customers who want recycling and solid waste processing alternatives that supplement disposal services they rely on for non-recyclable waste," says Horton. "It is Waste Management's goal, as a company, to know and service our customers better than anyone in the industry, and extract more value from the waste stream. This facility reflects our commitment to both initiatives."
Single-stream recycling streamlines and simplifies the process of collecting and processing recyclable materials.
In a single-stream system, residents and commercial customers place recyclables in a single container for pickup and no longer need to separate these materials in their homes or workplaces.
When recyclables arrive at a SSRF, advanced technology that includes magnets, screens and optical scanners is used to separate, sort and process the materials, which are then shipped out for reuse.
The Waste Management single stream facility will give the company processing control over a segment of its operations it has traditionally outsourced. This has become increasingly important, as demand for commodities of all types has increased, causing the demand for recyclable materials to rise.
"Recycling facilities must consistently produce clean, uniform material to secure long term contracts at the best rates," says Denise Gretz, area vice president for Waste Management's Michigan and Ohio Operations. "By operating our own facility, we can control each stage of the processing cycle and continue to build on our reputation for quality products."
This project is one of several being undertaken by Waste Management in Michigan as part of the company's broad investment in new technologies and innovative concepts to help customers extract more value from their waste and achieve a company sustainability goal of tripling its recycling volumes by 2020.