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Waste Management opens $20M single-stream recycling facility in Northeast Philly

No matter where in the country you live, you've almost certainly seen the green-and-mustard colored logo of the Houston, Texas-based Waste Management corporation plastered onto the side of a Dumpster, or perhaps a garbage truck. Here in Philadelphia, at least, we'll certainly be seeing a lot more of that familiar logo now that the company has opened a hugely innovative, 60,000-square-foot single-stream recycling facility in the Northeast; it's known as the Philadelphia Material Recovery Facility (MRF).

The LEED Silver-certified facility, which opened in late 2010, held its official grand opening ceremony on April 11. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter was on hand, as were a number of residential and commercial WM customers, who were invited to tour the $20 million facility, which was constructed atop a former brownfield site.

"In general," says George McGrath of McGrath Matter Associates, a public relations firm, "Waste Management has been one of the leading industry leaders in adopting and promoting single-stream recycling. We've got over 30 of these facilities around the country."

Single-stream recycling, he explains, is the process whereby residential and commercial customers alike can place all their recyclables in a single container for pickup, including paper. At the MRF, which is capable of processing more than 20,000 tons of recyclables each month, the materials are almost entirely separated not by human hands, but by advanced technological methods.

McGrath also says that once the facility is fully staffed, roughly 70 new jobs will have been created, with the vast majority of new employees coming from nearby neighborhoods.

"Waste Management built this facility because we really are committed to helping cities and businesses recycle more," McGrath adds. "And in fact, on average, recycling rates go up about 30 percent with the single-stream program. If you make it easier for people to do, they'll do more of it.

Source: George McGrath, McGrath Matter Associates 
Writer: Dan Eldridge 

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