RECYCLING TODAY: ASK THE EXPERT

The following article was featured in Recycling Today’s April, 2014 issue

Question: “Will mixed-waste processing facilities be the future of residential recycling?”

It will certainly play a significant role in domestic recycling efforts. This opinion may be somewhat controversial, but then again the idea that single-steam recycling would become the norm was once laughed at. Now it serves as a major contributor to this country’s waste diversion capabilities.

The early adoption of mixed-waste processing is actually quite reminiscent of the rise of single-stream recycling.  Initially, collection of recyclables required source segregation into multiple bins. Many assumed that mixing recyclables together would lead to a contaminated commodity stream. Sound familiar?

Simplified collection systems provide lower collection costs, fewer trucks on the road, and centralized tipping locations. However, the largest benefit may be the impact on participation rates. One bin means 100% participation, providing processors with access to all of a community’s recyclables.

With 100% participation and technology that captures up to 95% of high value recyclables, communities can now divert more than 75% of one-bin materials from landfill. This technology is available today. At BHS, we’re doing things that were considered impossible just a decade ago. Screening, air and optical sorting technology are being applied to sort mixed waste, and the results are outstanding.

Even more exciting, through the advent of dry anaerobic digestion we are now able to “close the loop on recovery.” Simply stated, this means utilizing the resources extracted from mixed-waste processing to power the MRF and the collection vehicles.

Moving to one-bin collections and mixed-waste processing can seem counter-intuitive after decades of education and training on source separation. Communities like San José and Montgomery lead the way by diverting more than 75% of their solid waste while recovering recyclables, creating renewable energy and preserving finite landfill space. I suspect others will soon follow.

Brian Wells is BHS’ Sales Operations Manager. He can be reached at 541-485-0999 or brianw (at) bhsequip (dot) com.

More from BHS

GreenWaste Recovery Opens 90-tph Mixed Waste MRF

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Aug. 7, 2018 – – In 2008 GreenWaste Recovery, Inc. (GWR) was awarded SWANA’s Gold Award for Recycling Excellence for the company’s Mixed Waste Material Recovery Facility (MRF). The system, built by Bulk Handling Systems (BHS)

Read more

Viridor Invests in Max-AI® Robotic Sorting

Skelmersdale, Lancashire, UK – Aug. 7, 2018 – – Viridor has invested in £445,000 in upgrades to its Skelmersdale Plastics Reprocessing Facility which include the addition of the Max-AI AQC (Autonomous Quality Control) robotic sorter.

Read more

BHS to Build Advanced Recycling System in South Carolina

Moncks Corner, S.C. – January 30, 2018 – South Carolina-based RePower South (RPS) has begun construction of the Berkeley County Recycling and Recovery Facility, which will be the most advanced Mixed Waste Processing facility on the East Coast. The turnkey recovery system will be provided by Bulk Handling Systems (BHS)

Read more

Max-AI® AQC-2 Automates Newspaper Sorting

Eugene, Ore. – April 18, 2018 – – The Max-AI® AQC (Autonomous Quality Control) product line has expanded with the release of the AQC-2 for paper sorting applications. Max-AI technology employs artificial intelligence (AI) to make material identification and selection decisions; high-speed robotic sorters carry out the sorting.

Read more

Monterey Opens BHS Advanced Recycling System

Monterey County, CA. – February 13, 2018 – The Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWMD) has started up its new Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). Supplied by Bulk Handling Systems (BHS), the technologically-advanced recovery system processes up to 80-tons-per-hour (tph) on two lines.

Read more

BHS to Build Advanced Recycling System in South Carolina

Moncks Corner, S.C. – January 30, 2018 – South Carolina-based RePower South (RPS) has begun construction of the Berkeley County Recycling and Recovery Facility, which will be the most advanced Mixed Waste Processing facility on the East Coast. The turnkey recovery system will be provided by Bulk Handling Systems (BHS)

Read more

Penn Waste Debuts Upgraded MRF

York, PA – November 1, 2017 – – Penn Waste is all systems go after adding new optical sorting and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to the company’s state-of-the-art Single Stream Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in York, Pennsylvania. Provided by Bulk Handling Systems (BHS)

Read more

SUEZ UK Opens Aberdeen Recycling Systems

Aberdeen, Scotland – October 24, 2017 – – SUEZ’s Recycling & Recovery UK Division recently started-up two new systems located at the Altens East Industrial Estate south of Aberdeen, Scotland. The turnkey Single Stream and Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) systems provided by Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) process 20-tonnes-per-hour (tph)

Read more

BHS Adds Europe’s #1 Channel Baler to Product Offering

Eugene, Ore. – January 26, 2017 – Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) and Kadant Inc. (NYSE:KAI) have reached an agreement appointing BHS as the exclusive distributor of Kadant PAAL’s high-performance balers to Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) in the United States and Canada.

Read more