JULY 2009

Waste Management opens Detroit Recycling Center
150 tons of recyclables to be managed daily

City of Detroit officials, Wayne County executive Robert Ficano and Waste Management (WM) chief executive officer David Steiner celebrated the opening of the Detroit Recycling Center (DRC), a 63,000 square-foot facility on Lynch Road that will manage recyclables for southeast Michigan commercial businesses and residential households.

Waste Management invested $2 million to renovate the building and installed equipment capable of processing up to 150 tons of recyclable material each day. To begin operations WM will employ six persons.

Initially, the DRC facility will manage cardboard, office paper, shredded paper and industrial plastics from Waste Management’s southeast Michigan customers. The company hopes to expand the facility’s operations to accommodate additional materials, including materials from the upcoming City of Detroit pilot recycling collection program.

Waste Management serves many private businesses in Detroit and currently provides significant levels of solid waste services for the Department of Public Works, Greater Detroit Resource Recovery Authority and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. One of the company’s major facilities, featuring a transfer station and hauling company, has operated continuously in the City of Detroit for more than three decades.

Upon arrival at the Detroit Recycling Facility, all trucks are weighed to determine the amount of recyclable material being delivered for processing. These truck scales are connected to computers that automatically record the weights for the trucks and the amount of materials in them. After weighing in, trucks then proceed to the tipping floor to unload their materials. Recycled materials are pushed onto a 30 foot-long conveyor system that feeds into elevated sorting equipment.

The 25-foot high sorting equipment passes the material over a series of specifically spaced angle screens and large fingered spinning discs to further sort the materials.

The materials are then moved to a large industrial baler to compress the various grades of products into bales weighing up to one ton (2,000 lbs.) to allow for easier storage and handling. The balers compress the material into a rectangular chamber and mechanically wrap several metal straps around the bale to hold it tightly together before ejecting a perfectly formed rectangular bale that is stackable and ready for shipment to market.