- The Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority plans to have up to two MRFs built to resort household and possibly business recyclables, as well as take in organic waste that could be used for anaerobic digestion and composting, as reported in Waste360.
- The facilities would process mixed wastes, meaning much of the materials would be unusable and need to be discarded. Bob Wallace, principal and vice president of client solutions for Phoenix-based WIH Resource Group, said the waste at the facility would not be guaranteed, yet a recovery guarantee of 40% is required. The proposal also must include "cradle to grave" services, as this is a green field project.
- The two proposed MRFs — one to be constructed at a chosen site and another at a site to be determined — would each process 200,000 to 250,000 tons a year.
The recycling markets have been unpredictable with changing commodities’ values, and many existing operations are barely holding on, shutting down, or selling.
The proposed high-tech Maryland facilities could carry some risks — Wallace, who projects a small to mid-sized firm will win the bid, estimates the cost of one facility at $30 million to $40 million. Then there is the pricey process of sorting and disposing contaminated materials.
Still, companies and municipalities who can afford to are investing in high-tech scanners and sorters, which some industry experts believe will save recyclers money in the end.
Municipalities, in particular, may not be deterred by cost because, "Munis typically moreover consider the need for these types of facilities, the greater good of recycling, and the services and cost for providing service to their constituents and ratepayers over the return on investment," said Wallace.