Balcones Resources Inc., headquartered in Austin, Texas, held the official grand opening of its newest material recovery facility (MRF) in Austin Sept. 26, 2012. Speakers at the opening included Balcones CEO Kerry Getter, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Travis County Commissioner Ron Davis and the City of Austin’s Director of Resource Recovery Bob Gedert.
“Today’s grand opening is a historic day for the Balcones family, for our entire team and for the city and all of Central Texas,” Getter says. “We want this facility to serve as a model for the rest of the country, just as Austin is leading the way with its zero-waste efforts. It is our privilege to play a part.”
The company invested $25 million to build the MRF, which will be able to process 25 tons of single-stream recyclables per hour. According to the company, the investment is the largest made by a privately held recycling company in Texas. The company adds that the facility has been designed so that it can easily be expanded as Balcones’ partnership with Austin grows. Starting October 2012, Balcones will start processing 60 percent of the city’s residential curbside recycling material. The company already processes a significant amount of the commercially generated recyclables in the city.
The highly-automated plant features the latest in patented screening, optical and controls technology, allowing Balcones Resources to boost the recycling recovery rate for city residents, produce clean commodities and divert a significant amount of material from landfill.
The equipment used at the facility was manufactured by Bulk Handling Systems, Eugene, Ore. The materials to be processed at the plant will come from both the City of Austin's residential and commercial streams. Materials accepted by the MRF will include PET, HDPE and mixed plastics and rigid plastics, film plastics, most grades of recovered fiber, aluminum, ferrous metal and glass.
The opening of the plant follows Balcones being awarded a 20-year contract with Austin to process the majority of the city’s residential recyclables. The MRF is housed in a new building and was built with flexibility in mind. It is capable of processing either residential or commercial material with recovery rates in excess of 95 percent.