four people with a large check
Pictured, from left: Rick Meyers, sanitation services manager, city of Milwaukee; Samantha Longshore, resource recovery program manager, city of Milwaukee; Analiese Smith, recycling and solid waste supervisor, Waukesha County; and Alan Barrows, land resources manager, Waukesha County
Photo courtesy of CMI and The Recycling Partnership

Milwaukee MRF receives aluminum can capture grant

The grant will help the operator to invest in an eddy current separator to recover more used beverage containers.

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November 8, 2021

The Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), Washington, has awarded the city of Milwaukee and Waukesha County’s material recovery facility (MRF) with a $65,000 aluminum can capture grant to help the facility recover beverage cans that are improperly sorted. Ardagh Metal Packaging, a supplier of metal packaging solutions with global headquarters in Luxembourg, and Crown Holdings, Yardley, Pennsylvania, both provided funds for the grant.

The single-stream MRF is operated by Republic Services and processes about 65,000 tons of material per year from the city of Milwaukee and 26 communities in Waukesha County.

According to a news release from CMI, the grant will enable the city and county to add an additional eddy current in the MRF. CMI says the new equipment will enable the recycling facility to recover more than 27 million additional aluminum beverage cans annually. CMI reports that those additional cans “will generate more than $400,000 in new annual revenue.”

“This additional eddy current will help us ensure increased capture of aluminum beverage cans, which will deliver significant revenue to help sustain city services as well as enable our residents to make a larger environmental impact from recycling,” says Rick Meyers, sanitation services manager for the city of Milwaukee Department of Public Works.

CMI says this is the fourth MRF to receive funding from the grant program. CMI partnered with The Recycling Partnership to evaluate and select grantees, execute the grant program and provide technical assistance to ensure implementation of the program.

The first three grantees in the program include Curbside Management, Asheville, North Carolina; Gel Recycling, Port Orange, Florida; and Independent Texas Recyclers in Houston.

Additionally, The Recycling Partnership worked with the city of Milwaukee earlier this year to deploy more than 18,600 recycling carts and fund a citywide education and outreach effort to support the transition to universal, every-other-week recycling collection.

According to CMI, the equipment investment “will help make sure that the increased volume of cans collected at curbside due to the cart deployment and education effort is sorted properly and ultimately made into new cans.”

“The city of Milwaukee and Waukesha County are honored that our facility received this generous grant to purchase equipment to capture additional aluminum beverage cans, one of the most valuable commodities in our recycling program,” says Alan Barrows, land resources manager for Waukesha County.