WM has opened a nearly 100,000-square-foot recycling facility in Cleveland meant to raise recycling rates in the region, produce higher quality materials and eventually expand the types of materials WM can accept for recycling.
The recycling facility is one of four that WM operates in Ohio. The new Cleveland location is meant to become WM’s primary processing hub in the state and serve over half a million customers in Ohio, said Aaron Johnson, area vice president of the WM Great Lakes Area, in a statement. WM announced the facility’s opening on Friday.
WM invested $30 million in the facility. It can process up to 144,000 tons of material per year, and is expected to process about 420 tons per day. The MRF includes “state-of-the-art” optical sorters, non-wrapping screens and ballistic separators. The facility also includes a glass recovery and glass breaker system, which was funded by a $200,000 market development grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
The facility is meant to create 50 jobs, and upgraded technology and automation at the site will serve as an “opportunity to upskill current roles,” WM said.
This project is part of WM’s larger plans to invest about $1 billion in recycling infrastructure across the country by 2026, including in about 40 planned “new or automated” MRFs that are expected to add about 2.8 million incremental tons managed, the company said in a statement.
WM sees automation as a major tool to earn higher premiums for cleaner material. It’s also key to helping the company increase the amount of recyclables it manages from 15 million to 25 million tons per year by 2030, CFO Devina Rankin said at a sustainability investor presentation in April. WM expects to collect 19 million tons of recycling by 2026.
WM previously announced that it expects to carry out 27 automation projects between 2023 and 2025 and expand its recycling footprint into at least eight new locations.