American Recycler News, Inc.


Republic Services invests millions to upgrade St. Louis recycling facilities

Republic Services, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is investing nearly $19 million to upgrade two of their recycling centers in North St. Louis County and South St. Louis County, Missouri.

The enhancements to the recycling centers include the addition of state-of-the-art technology that will be the first-of-its-kind in Missouri. The new technology will make the sorting process more efficient, enabling Republic Services to triple its recycling capacity to as much as 30 tons per hour. This is the single largest recycling technology investment of its kind in Missouri history.

The company expects to hire up to 20 new local employees when the renovations are complete.

According to Siemens’ annual Green City Index in 2011, St. Louis recycles only 3 percent of its waste, compared with the 27 city index average of 26 percent. Based on Republic’s experience in other communities, the company believes the St. Louis region can recycle more.

“We believe that if residents simply add a designated recycling bin in their kitchen – the place where most people decide whether to recycle an item or throw it away – that the amount of material people would recycle would increase by at least 50 percent,” Tim Trost, area president of Republic said.

Sorted recyclables from Republic Services are sent to manufacturers to use in new products, helping keep production costs down and consumer goods, like toilet paper, affordable.

“I think the investment is great for the overall quality of life in St. Louis County. In 2008 county executive Dooley asked us to make sure every household had a single-stream recycling bin. That program is proving to be very successful over time,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director, Saint Louis County Department of Health. “When homeowners were provided single stream recycling bins, the recycling rate in St. Louis County jumped 900 percent. That’s 47,000 tons of garbage, or 49 percent of all waste, that is not going into landfills. We are making dramatic strides and I believe increasing recycling will only continue to improve the great quality of life we have here in our community.”

Automated recycling is working for Alton too. Republic began pick-up service there April 2. The result was a 47 percent increase in recycling in the month of April 2012, compared to April 2011. That increase translates to more than 100 tons of recyclables collected from residents in the first month.