FCC Environmental Services, the American affiliate of Madrid-based FCC Servicios Medio Ambiente, says its material recovery facility (MRF) in Houston has been honored with the Recycling Facility of the Year 2020 award by the Arlington, Virginia-based National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA).
The company won the same award in 2017 for its Dallas MRF. The high-quality MRFs have “allowed FCC to become the biggest recycling firm in the Lone Star State,” the company says.
The Houston MRF started operating in 2019, after the city of Houston awarded FCC a tender with the purpose of designing, building, financing and then operating the facility, for a term of 15 years with a possible five-year extension, “which means an order book value in excess of $250 million,” states FCC.
The 120,000-square-foot, $25 million facility receives, sorts, recovers and markets recyclable materials at a processing capacity of up to 145,000 tons per year. The sorting process is fully automated, FCC says, and is equipped with optical and elliptical sorters, screens and cleaning systems for paper, cardboard and glass, eddy current and crossbelt magnetic separators.
The facility allows “Houstonians to put more materials in their recycling bins and less in the landfills, therefore increasing the amount of secondary raw materials produced,” states FCC. In 2016, Houston residents had been asked to remove glass from the recycling bin, but with the FCC MRF in place, glass can be recycled again and turned into revenue, according to the company.
FCC says the Houston MRF is a United States pioneer in the separation of plastic film, using an optical sorter and a vacuum system, and in the deployment of “cardboard tridimensional sorting systems suited to small particles.” Both features are integrated into the process line.
The company also has built an educational center within the facility to provide training and play a role in educating children and adults “in best practices for sustainability and recycling.”
FCC Servicios Medio Ambiente says its U.S. affiliate FCC Environmental Services has accumulated a portfolio of contracts signed in excess of $2 billion, serving more than 8 million Americans. During 2019 the company processed and marketed about 150,000 tons of recyclable materials, it says.