American Recycler News, Inc.


Hamtramck reclaims waste in larger facility

The Hamtramck Recycling & Transfer Station, located in Michigan, has a new 33,000 sq.ft. facility.

“The old building was in disrepair,” said Seth Krueger, the president of the new Hamtramck Recycling & Transfer Station, “and it was a hazardous environment for the workers.”

Krueger was determined that the previously under-performing business had several things going for it. Among these was the fact that it had previously obtained the proper zoning from the city and a license from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) as well as the proper permits from Wayne County.

“In December, 2010, we agreed to take on the business, on a three month trial basis, with the stipulation that we would go in there and run the operation.”

“They had no automated equipment to speak of,” said Krueger. “Theoretically they were a recycling business as well as a waste transfer station, but they were only recycling one to two percent of what they were taking in. The rest was simply compacted and hauled to the landfill or the incinerator.”

Without efficient means for moving the trash through the pick cycle, it simply piled up. “The trash was 12 feet deep on a continuous basis. They pulled out the commodities that they could pick off the surface, but the rest was hauled away. It was just a mountain in there and they never made much headway on that mountain. The place was not only missing opportunities, but it was hazardous to work there.”

After analyzing the facility’s operations and the surrounding market during that initial three month trial period, the Kruegers decided to take on the business. The first big item on their agenda was to tear down the existing structure and construct a new one.

The Kruegers began by taking proposals from conveyor manufacturers and visiting several of them. One of them was Mayfran International Inc., from Cleveland, Ohio.

Mayfran won the contract to design, engineer and fabricate a 12 conveyor system for the new facility. The design phase was characterized by close interaction between the two parties.

“We got our final clearance from the DEQ in December 2012 and we were cleared to accept waste,” said Krueger. “For the first few months we were doing test loads and getting our procedures tight as we ramp up to full production.”

The Hamtramck Recycling & Transfer Station is recycling about 50 percent of the material that comes in – a far cry from the 1 to 2 percent recycling rate at the old facility. Their goal is to recycle an even greater percentage in the future. “We made a commitment to being landfill free,” said Krueger.

Residual waste that is not recycled is sent to the Detroit Renewable Power plant as refuse derived fuel. This is also a cogeneration plant, creating electricity and steam for a number of buildings in downtown Detroit.