Waste Management sells Des Moines, Iowa, MRF

Mick Barry and Brian Meng revive the Mid America Recycling name with purchase.


Waste Management (WM), headquartered in Houston, has sold its Des Moines, Iowa, material recovery facility (MRF) to a group of recycling industry veterans, several of whom formerly were members of the management team of Mid America Recycling, including Michael “Mick” Barry and Brian Meng. The Des Moines MRF will operate under the Mid America Recycling name.

Barry and Meng were part of the original team that owned Mid America Recycling from 1979 to 2007, at which time the company was sold to Greenstar Recycling, headquartered in Houston. That sale included numerous facilities in nine states. (Waste Management purchased Greenstar Recycling in 2013.)

Barry serves as president of the newly revived Mid America Recycling. In addition to Barry and Meng, the business is co-owned by Kelley McReynolds, vice president and general manager, and Scott Emery, general manager.

Barry says the Des Moines MRF he and his partners have purchased is the state’s largest single-stream recycling facility.

“We feel that now is the right time to re-enter the recycling market in the Des Moines area,” Barry says. “My business partner, Brian Meng, and I will utilize our experience, resources and intellectual capital to ensure that Mid America Recycling will return to the forefront of the recycling industry in the central United States.”

Barry says the MRF processes 10,000 tons of material monthly, including glass, aluminum and PET  (polyethylene terephthalate) beverage containers from throughout the state that are collected through Iowa’s deposit program; curbside single-stream recyclables from central Iowa; and commercial recyclables from throughout the state.

“We handle 90-plus percent of all glass in the state of Iowa,” Barry says of the Des Moines MRF.

The MRF also offers shredding and confidential document destruction services.

The Des Moines MRF is the second such facility the management group has acquired over the last year. The team purchased Midland Recycling of Lincoln, Nebraska, from a private equity group in April 2014. That MRF also was part of the Mid America umbrella when it was purchased by Greenstar in 2007.

Barry says Mid America also has business or marketing agreements in place with MRFs in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

He says the Des Moines MRF is unique in that it handles a blend of residential, commercial and deposit materials, with three processing lines dedicated to those streams located within the 100-square-foot facility.

The facility employs around 75 people, including some managers and supervisors that worked with the facility previously.

The MRF will continue to process materials collected by Waste Management and other haulers.