Waste Management broke ground October 2011 on behalf of the City of Spokane for their new 62,000 square foot, state-of-the-art recycling center. October 1st, 2012, they are scheduled to open and ready for almost a dozen new recyclable materials. The Spokane Material and Recycling Technology (SMART) Center will receive many things dubbed as trash until the future switch. New trucks will make their rounds in the fall, picking up large green roller carts (automatically and free of charge to Spokane residents!) filled with unsorted paper, pots and pans, glass bottles, and milk cartons. (For more on how WM’s single-stream recycling plants work to sort all of these materials, click here.) The City projects that the facility will increase the amount of recyclables collected by more than 40% – and quickly, to boot! The center will have the capacity to process 26 tons of mixed materials per hour: up to 90,000 tons per year.
Amazingly, customer rates will not increase. The new plant has created over 50 new construction jobs and will require 45-50 permanent employees. Waste Management, as the plant’s major investor and operator, will sell the processed materials and give the City a 75% cut of the net sales.
The City projects that their participation rate will increase by 50%, an estimate made conservatively after Coeur d’Alene’s switch to a single-stream system doubled their participation rate. Waste Management already serves 55,000 homes in Spokane’s metropolitan area and hinterlands, and hopes to spread that all the way into Alberta, Canada with the new plant’s capacity and seemingly imminent success.
Do you recycle? Is it a single-stream service or presorted? Do you think Spokane will really see a 50% in recycling participation by simply going to a single-stream system?
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