Initial recipients of aluminum beverage can capture grant program include MRFs in North Carolina and Texas
Recycling facilities in North Carolina and Texas will use Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI)'s aluminum beverage can capture grants to install equipment that will result in 540 tons, more than 36 million aluminum beverage cans, per year being captured that were previously missorted.
The grant program builds off the CMI researchthat found it is critical to capture all used beverage cans (UBC) flowing through material recovery facilities (MRF), which play the critical role in the U.S. recycling system of sorting recyclables. This research concluded that most MRFs in the United States would not be able to operate without the revenue from UBCs considering they are consistently the most valuable beverage package material in the recycling stream.
The grant money provided to these two MRFs is being combined with other sources of funding at a ratio of more than one to ten. The two MRFs are operated by(ITR), Houston, TX, and , Asheville, NC.
The ITR facility is a single-stream MRF serving the Houston area. It will put the grant funding toward installing a second eddy current to capture UBCs from the containers in the residue (i.e., material destined for landfill) line.
The Curbside Management facility is a single-stream MRF serving Asheville, NC, and surrounding communities, and it is the largest MRF in Western North Carolina. The facility is replacing its existing eddy current with a state-of-the-art eddy current that can more effectively sort aluminum packaging at the volume flowing through the facility.
ITR and Curbside Management are just the first two recipients, with additional grantees expected to be announced in the middle of this year and initial impact results expected by the end of 2021. The Recycling Partnership led the effort to methodically analyze and rank the received proposals.
Capturing and recycling these more than 36 million aluminum cans each year will have a significant environmental and economic impact. These aluminum cans when sold will generate more than $500,000 in much needed revenue for MRFs. When these cans are recycled, it will save more than 15 million kilowatt hours of energy and will avoid more than 3.5 million kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.