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Need to Know

Two MRFs Bring Home the Gold in GRC MRF Glass Certification

Mid America Recycling: midamericafeat.png

ANN ARBOR, MI —While the world awaits the gold medals from the Olympic Games, the Glass Recycling Coalition (GRC) announces two new gold-level MRF glass recipients: Mid America Recycling and Single Stream Recyclers (Balcones). The GRC's free certification program has recognized more than ten MRFs that have additional equipment and/or operational procedures to clean up glass recycling in both single- and dual-stream systems.

Mid America Recycling, the first MRF in Iowa to hold this certification, operates a modern glass recycling facility integrated into their MRF. Mid America Recycling has participated in the evolution of the recycling industry for the past 42 years, with glass as a key component.

“Mid America Recycling takes great pride in its quality of glass produced at our facility that is recovered from multiple supply streams to provide cullet ready for production at our end-user partners,” said Mick Barry, president of Mid America Recycling.

Mid America Recycling's on-site beneficiation process removes contaminants and sorts green, amber, and flint (clear) glass containers. Then the facility crushes the material into cullet that is sized to end-user specifications. The Des Moines-based MRF processes more than 30,000 tons of glass per year, producing furnace-ready cullet shipped via truck and railcar to end-users throughout North America.

Single Stream Recyclers (Balcones) in Sarasota, Florida, is the first in the state to take the gold. Their state-of-the-art MRF integrates robotic arms, optical scanners, and other equipment to sort 50 tons of recyclables per hour.

"Achieving the gold standard of glass quality in our industry is a major point of pride and an equally high priority for all of Balcones' single stream facilities. Our talented team at Single Stream Recyclers in Sarasota worked together with our long-term partners at Strategic Materials to design a glass cleanup system that would consistently exceed both theirs and our expectations," said Joaquin Mariel, chief operating officer for Balcones - Single Stream Recyclers. 

Launched in the Fall of 2019, the GRC MRF Glass Certification program has since awarded 11 certifications, two silver and nine gold. In 2021, the glass certification criteria was updated to prioritize end market consistency and more thorough glass cleaning before beneficiations. Eligible applications are judged on current infrastructure and a glass purity measure aligning with ISRIs Three-Mix Specification. An independent committee scores certification levels into gold, silver, and bronze certifications. MRFs holding this certification will have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

"We understand the important connection between MRF's producing 3-mix that glass recyclers desire and the continued viability of successful single-stream programming across the country, and we will continue to make the investments necessary to meet the demand," said Mariel.

GRC's website currently hosts an interactive map showing MRFs, glass processors, and end markets across the country. GRC certified MRFs are noted on this map along with public recognition of this certification.

Learn more about the Glass Recycling Coalition and apply for MRF Glass Certification at www.glassrecycles.org/mrf

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