Waste Management of Utah has announced plans to expand and improve its Salt Lake City recycling operations with the construction of a new, larger and technically advanced materials recovery facility (MRF). Building is expected to begin in the spring, and the new MRF is slated to be fully operational by early 2020.
“Waste Management remains committed to supporting sustainability, and recycling is an important component,” said Scott Bradley, area vice president for Waste Management’s Four Corners Area, in a statement. “To ensure our local recovery operations can keep pace with the volume of recyclable materials being generated by the growing communities in and around Salt Lake City, Waste Management identified a very real need to improve our local recycling operations.”
The new MRF will support recycling programs throughout the Salt Lake Valley, including processing the recycling for the municipality of Salt Lake City’s roughly 41,000 residential customers.
“Having this facility located in Salt Lake City, for the benefit of our residents and businesses, truly reflects our culture and commitment to recycling as a city,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski in a statement. “Waste Management’s commitment to upgrade its MRF helped secure our long-term public-private partnership. This project will offer many assets to our community—economic development; shorter travel times for our recycling trucks, resulting in lower emissions; and, of course, a more efficient and cost-effective recycling operation that is responsive both to our sustainability goals and to our future population growth.”
Waste Management of Utah plans to invest $16 million to bring the new MRF online. The facility will occupy 50,000 square feet of an existing structure at the company’s transfer station located south of the airport at 3405 West 900 South. Once operational, the MRF will be capable of processing and sorting 35 tons of material an hour, which is more than 700 tons of recycled materials per day.
“State-of-the-art equipment with advanced sorting technologies will be installed at the new MRF,” said Mark Snedecor, area director of recycling operations for Waste Management, in a statement. “Our goal is to improve production efficiencies and reduce contamination levels in the materials we produce. By modernizing our operations, we expect to meet and exceed the increased quality standards being imposed by domestic and international buyers of the metals, plastics, cardboard and paper produce.”
Machinery with improved automation capabilities, advanced sorting optics and ballistic 2D and 3D motion separators are on the list of equipment to be installed. Additionally, screens designed to reduce the safety concerns and production delays caused by non-recyclable plastic bags getting wrapped around rotating sorting equipment will be utilized.
Currently, Waste Management services Salt Lake City’s robust recycling program, processing approximately 750 tons of recyclables each month. At present, the municipality diverts more than 40 percent of its residential waste stream to recycling and compost. The modernized MRF will support this effort by producing a cleaner end product with higher value—which will ultimately lead to greater diversion from the landfill.
The new MRF will remain a single stream operation that accepts and sorts clean metal cans, plastic bottles and containers, cardboard, paper and newspaper. Waste Management’s current MRF, located in West Jordan, will continue to operate until the new facility opens.