Recycling programs across the U.S. have made headlines lately for a variety of reasons, including a contract lawsuit, planned facilities and contract awards. The following are summaries of several recent happenings:
Another contamination lawsuit: A second Northeast municipality has landed in court recently over a dispute with Republic Services. WasteDive reports Camden County, N.J. in August filed a lawsuit against former ReCommunity company FCR Camden (ReCommunity is now owned by Republic Services, the second largest residential garbage and recycling company in North America). The contract dispute centers on fees Republic is charging for contamination in recyclables arriving at the MRF. In June, Resource Recycling reported that FCR, LLC had sued Connecticut’s Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) over a contract dispute stemming from contamination arriving at the MRF.
Recycling composition study released: Orange County, N.C. has released the results of a recyclables characterization study. The April 2019 examination found a 12% contamination rate, which is markedly below the 18% average for The Triangle, the region of North Carolina around Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. The study also found that occurence of bagged recyclables was highest in urban single-family areas, at 3.6% of all recycling sampled, by weight. Tanglers, including belts, hoses and hangers, were most common in rural areas. For the study, Orange County worked with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Orange County contracted with Kessler Consulting for the in-depth report.
Mixed-waste processing facility opens: On the West Coast, a massive new sorting facility is on the way in Santa Barbara County, Calif. The ReSource Center is a $130 million project to reclaim recyclable and compostable materials headed to the Tajiguas Landfill. The project, which broke ground last winter, will include a 66,500-square-foot mixed-waste processing facility, a 68,500-square-foot anaerobic digester and composting areas. The mixed-waste MRF, which will be outfitted by equipment provider Van Dyk Recycling Solutions, will include bag openers, shredders, trommel screens, various sizing screens, air density separators, elliptical separators and 11 optical sorters. The recovered organics will first be processed in the anaerobic digestion facility to generate energy before they’re composted. The state provided a $4 million grant for the anaerobic digestion facility. The project was mainly financed by Santa Barbara County’s Solid Waste Enterprise Fund issuing tens of millions of dollars in 20-year-term municipal bonds, according to a press release.
Significant collection deals: In the Midwest, Nebraska’s largest city has approved a couple of collection contracts. WasteDive reports the Omaha City Council voted to award a 10-year garbage and recyclables collection contract and a five-year yard debris collection contract to FCC Environmental, which is part of Spanish utilities and construction giant FCC. The city’s current collection contract, held by Waste Management, expires at the end of 2020. It’s the second time recently FCC has taken a contract that used to be Waste Management’s. In early 2018, Houston awarded it a recyclables sorting and marketing contract that had been held by Waste Management, which is headquartered in Houston.
New MRF coming: Across the Missouri River, in Iowa, the Metro Waste Authority has decided to build its own MRF rather than continue to contract with a privately owned one. AP reports the Des Moines-area authority decided to build its own MRF rather than continue to contract with Mid America Recycling, which drew criticism for landfilling paper last year because it couldn’t find a buyer. According to WasteDive, the Metro Waste Authority awarded a nearly $11 million contract to CP Group to provide equipment for a sorting facility. Bids had also been submitted by Bulk Handling Systems, Machinex and Van Dyk Recycling Solutions.
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