- A new report from Gershman Brickner & Bratton, Inc. (GBB), prepared for the American Chemistry Council (ACC), has found promising potential in mixed waste processing facilities (MWPF).
- GBB reviewed 10 types of equipment — from flip-flow screens to bag openers — currently in use by a variety of companies. Much of the equipment is also used in traditional material recovery facilities for recyclables.
- The report concludes that while the MWPF field still has room to grow in terms of economic performance, "potential for increased diversion has been enlarged."
While mixed waste processing has been discussed for years, it has yet to fully take off as a popular option. Many cities are willing to adopt single-stream recycling, but due to either cost or environmental factors, they're not willing to stop sorting entirely.
A mixed waste facility in Montgomery, AL was closed last year and the city has since announced it may be converted into a single-stream recycling center. Other projects, such as one planned for Indianapolis, have also run into issues. Earlier this year, a survey of North American paper buyers found that they often reject material from mixed-waste streams.
Yet Republic Services recently opened a major new MWPF in Anaheim, CA. The site can reportedly process 100 tons per hour and 1,000 tons per day. As evidenced in the GBB report, the technology is also being used elsewhere. With the right investment and systems in place it may well have a strong future after all.