PHILADELPHIA, April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Waste Management today joined with Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, local and state officials and WM customers to celebrate the launch of its advanced Philadelphia Material Recovery Facility (MRF), located in Northeast Philadelphia. This innovative, 60,000-square-foot single-stream facility exemplifies Waste Management's commitment to recovering the value in waste.
Waste Management invested over $20 million to create one of the most advanced single-stream technology plants in operation at a former brownfield site. The Philadelphia MRF is the largest such facility in the region and can sort and process more than 20,000 tons of recyclable newspaper, cardboard, aluminum, glass and plastic each month. The plant also captures materials that were historically discarded, such as film plastic and rigid plastics, expanding the range of materials that can be recycled.
Single-stream recycling streamlines and simplifies the process of collecting and processing recyclable materials, increasing recycling rates by up to 50 percent. 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 WM's Philadelphia recycling facility, 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.
"Waste Management is focused on recovering more of the valuable materials in waste through the use of advanced technologies such as single-stream recycling," said Patrick DeReuda, president, Waste Management Recycle America. "By making the process of handling recyclables simpler for local residents and businesses, this facility has the potential to significantly increase local recycling participation rates, enabling us to further reduce waste, recover more material and improve the effectiveness of municipal and commercial recycling programs."
The Philadelphia MRF accepts materials from the City of Philadelphia's single-stream residential collection program as well as from other communities and commercial customers in the region. Once fully staffed, the facility will employ over 70 people, most of them hired from the Philadelphia area.
"Philadelphia's recycling program is good for the city environmentally and economically. Single-steam recycling makes keeping the city clean as easy as possible for our residents," said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. "I'd like to thank Waste Management for investing in Philadelphia with this new recycling plant, and for the jobs that it will create."
The Philadelphia MRF was constructed using sustainable building and design techniques and has received LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The siding and roofing of the processing building contain over 80 percent recycled content; advanced stormwater management systems, including a green roof on the office facility, treat stormwater to improve its quality prior to release.
This project is part of Waste Management's sustainability initiative to nearly triple the amount of recyclable materials it recovers, from approximately 8 million tons today to over 20 million tons by 2020.
"Waste is no longer something to get rid of – it's a resource. That's why Waste Management is leading the way in adopting innovative solutions such as single-stream recycling to benefit the communities and customers we serve," said James Fish, area vice president, Waste Management. "We are proud to make this investment in this facility to help move Philadelphia and the surrounding region to the forefront of recycling."
ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT
Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company's customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.
SOURCE Waste Management