- Republic Services has teamed up with Lab USA to open a new ash metal recovery facility at the Roosevelt Regional Landfill in Washington.
- The facility will process all ash delivered to the site, as well as material already in the landfill. Republic estimates that it will recover and recycle more than 46,200 tons of ferrous metals and 42,900 tons of non-ferrous metals over an estimated 10-year period.
- After the metals are extracted they'll be shipped to manufacturers and repurposed for new products.
This is the most recent in a series of new infrastructure investments from Republic to help maximize its recycling potential. Last year it opened a major material recycling facility in Nevada and in April the company completed a mixed waste recovery facility in California that can process up to 100 tons per hour. These moves are among the reasons the company has seen solid growth lately.
Metal recovery from combustion ash is a popular area of exploration right now as companies and communities look for new ways to get the most out of refuse. In 2014, Covanta switched to rare earth metal magnets in some of its facilities and saw recovery rates spike significantly. Pennsylvania's Lancaster County has also looked into upgrading its metal recovery system.
As demonstrated in Europe, having systems in place to reuse and recover materials from combustion ash is an important part of any sustainable operation. The EPA estimates that out of the estimated 9 million tons of combustion ash generated every year only a very small percentage is actually recovered or reused in any way. Though recent research on beneficial reuse of this ash for building materials could change that some day.