Mid America Recycling aerial view

Mid America Recycling’s 75,000-square-foot MRF in Des Moines, Iowa has six rail docks, 15 trailer docks and coverage storage for over 2 million pounds of recyclables. | Google Earth

Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Schupan and Sons is expanding its reach in the Midwest, picking up a long-time processor.

Tom Emmerich, Schupan’s chief operating office, said in a press release that Mid America “has been a recycling leader in Iowa for years, and has a knowledgeable team with strong customer relationships.”

Financial details of the sale of Des Moines-based Mid America Recycling were not disclosed.

“Mid America Recycling’s multi-material recycling and deposit container operations align perfectly with being an industry leader in providing sustainable, high-quality, recycled materials,” Emmerich added.

Mick Barry, co-owner and president of Mid America Recycling, said he has “known the Schupan organization for years and have always respected the way they operate and treat people. I strongly believe we are leaving our company in the right hands.”

Mid America has been a known name in Midwest residential recycling for several decades. The company was launched in 1979 and was sold to Greenstar Recycling in 2007, and that company was later acquired by Waste Management. Members of Mid America’s original leadership team bought back the Des Moines facility in 2015.

In 2020 and 2021, Mid America Recycling criticized a publicly funded MRF built by the Metro Waste Authority (MWA), which ended its previous recyclables sorting and marketing contract with Mid America. MWA’s $24 million single-stream MRF opened in November 2021, collecting curbside recyclables from 93,000 households in communities surrounding Des Moines. Mid America Recycling, which operates its own MRF, still handles recyclables from within Des Moines.

Schupan is planning to learn more about the Iowa marketplace, Emmerich said, because “while we are certainly excited to hit the ground in Iowa, we know we must first get to know our new employees and build relationships with Iowa distributors, retailers, the legislature and communities.”

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