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Resource Recovery

Recovering resources from waste starts with site identification and project analysis. Rehabilitation and upgrading of old systems and buildings; restoration of sites that are labeled “brownfields”; and reuse of components to conserve their value are the foundation of our resource recovery company. Several of the facilities we have operated were acquired and upgraded at a significant savings to our communities, and a creative review and analysis of existing components and structures have saved money.

Resource recovery and recycling are a natural combination in an integrated solid waste management system. Traditional resource recovery is the separation of reusable resources from the waste stream coupled with combustion of the residual waste for the purpose of energy generation.

When we think of our trash today, we often think of the three 'R's: reduce, reuse, and recycle. This is appropriate, because reducing waste means not making it in the first place, and finding new uses for unwanted articles avoids them becoming waste. If reuse is inappropriate or impractical, however, recycling is the next best alternative. Reclaiming waste materials for re-manufacturing, whether they are metal, glass, paper or plastic, replaces the extraction of minerals or fossil fuels as raw materials, or as energy for manufacturing or transportation.

In this way, resource recovery facilities are very compatible with recycling programs. When the total economic value of a recyclable material is high enough to justify its removal from the waste stream pre-combustion, materials will be recycled. The historically high recovery rates for aluminum beverage cans, scrap metal, and high value paper, for example, have proven that when recyclable materials can be cost effectively recycled, they will be recycled. When they cannot, the energy value of those resources should be recovered in a resource recovery facility.