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(VIDEO) Eureka Recycling earns gold MRF glass certification from the Glass Recycling Coalition

A trommel sorts glass by size at Eureka Recycling's Minneapolis MRF. Eureka Recycling

The Glass Recycling Coalition (GRC) has named Eureka Recycling as the recipient of a gold-level certification for its material recovery facility (MRF) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The MRF qualified for gold status due to its glass sortation and cleaning equipment providing high-quality recycled glass to processors and manufacturers.

Eureka Recycling is a non-profit zero waste organization and mission-based recycler that advocates for waste reduction, reuse, and recycling policy changes; provides education and resources to the community and legislators; and runs recycling operations that serve the Twin Cities and surrounding communities. In addition, Eureka ensures that its 130 team members are paid a living wage and receive comprehensive benefits.

The single-stream MRF started operations in 2005. The facility sorts 400 to 450 tons of materials daily and utilizes glass cleaning equipment including a glass breaker, trommel screen for size separation, and vacuum system. The MRF sends its clean glass to a beneficiation facility, which further sorts and cleans the material to produce glass cullet used for manufacturing new bottles, fibreglass, and other products.

"At Eureka Recycling, we believe glass is a critical part of the recycling stream due to its inert nature and infinite recyclability. Each time glass is recycled, it provides significant benefits to the environment and to our community, especially here in Minnesota where we have a local glass producer and beneficiator. To support glass recycling, we've invested in equipment and continue to provide education aimed at maintaining the highest possible glass quality," said Miriam Holsinger, co-president and COO of Eureka Recycling.

The free certification program offered by the GRC recognizes MRFs with additional equipment and operational procedures to clean up glass in both single- and dual-stream systems, resulting in the production of higher-quality and marketable glass.

"Eureka Recycling's achievement of the Glass Recycling Coalition's gold certification is yet another example of its continued leadership in recycling," says Scott Mouw, senior advisor of strategy and research at The Recycling Partnership. "Through its smart, innovative investments in glass cleaning equipment, Eureka demonstrates that keeping glass in curbside is highly feasible and can improve the circularity of the material. We congratulate Eureka on its certification and hope other MRFs follow their great example."

The GRC MRF Glass Certification program launched in the fall of 2019. In 2022, the glass certification criteria were updated to prioritize end-market consistency and more thorough glass cleaning before beneficiation. Eligible applications are judged on their current MRF infrastructure and the results of a glass purity test aligned with ISRI's Three-Mix Specification. An independent committee scores applications and awards MRFs with either gold, silver, or bronze certification. MRFs holding this certification will have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

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