Wixom-based Waste Management of Michigan says it will build a single stream recycling plant to the Detroit metropolitan area.
Waste Management officials said, however, that they had not yet finalized a location or completion date, and would not announce the number of jobs to be created by the plant until those plans are complete.
Waste Management said single stream recycling collection programs are expanding in southeastern Michigan, resulting in the need for the plant.
Single stream programs eliminate the need for customers to separate recyclable materials prior to collection, since sophisticated material-handling equipment inside the single stream plant handles the task. According to Tom Horton, vice president of public affairs for Waste Management’s Mid-West Group, this makes it easier for customers to recycle. Experience has shown that recyclable material volumes increase an average of 20 to 30 percent after customers switch to single stream collection. Waste Management has 35 such plants in operation across the country.
“This initiative reflects Waste Management’s ongoing efforts to serve customers who want recycling and solid waste processing alternatives that supplement disposal services they rely on for non-recyclable waste,” Horton said. “It is Waste Management’s goal, as a company, to know and service our customers better than anyone in the industry, and extract more value from the waste stream. This facility reflects our commitment to both initiatives.”
In a single-stream system, residents and commercial customers place recyclables in a single container for pickup and no longer need to separate these materials in their homes or workplaces. When recyclables arrive at a single stream plant, advanced technology that includes magnets, screens and optical scanners is used to separate, sort and process the materials, which are then shipped out for reuse.
“Recycling facilities must consistently produce clean, uniform material to secure long-term contracts at the best rates,” said Denise Gertz, area vice president for Waste Management’s Michigan and Ohio operations. “By operating our own facility, we can control each stage of the processing cycle and continue to build on our reputation for quality products.”
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the largest residential recycler in North America and a developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy centers. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America.