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Single Stream Recycling Composition Analysis

Confidential MRF Operator | Confidential, FL | Completed: 2015

Single Stream Recycling Composition Analysis | BackendRecyclingComp2015

A Central Florida county had contracted with a local waste management company for processing of single stream recyclables. The contract obligated the vendor to pay the county a percentage of the value of the recyclables delivered. Both parties agreed that changing composition of the recycling stream had caused the payment formula to become inaccurate; however, several months of negotiations and performance of one composition study were not successfully able to overcome the problem. 

MSW Consultants was ultimately retained by the processor to execute a comprehensive audit of county-collected curbside recyclables from an independent and highly transparent perspective. This audit had unprecedented cooperation from the processor, and involved cleaning out the MRF; running 180 tons of randomly selected loads of single stream recyclables; and systematically sorting each ejection point (i.e., each commodity, reject, and residue stream) in the plant to assemble a definitive picture of the composition of incoming recyclables. The project also included detailed mass balance measurements of recyclables as they progressed from a transfer station to the MRF and through the single stream processing line. 

The results of this project are being used by the parties in modifying the accepted payment terms for processing and recycling materials delivered by the County; additionally, these results will also help the MRF increase recovery and associated revenue through targeted optimization of its sorting systems