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Houston-based WM, formerly known as Waste Management Inc., announced it would invest approximately $30 million in its materials recovery facility (MRF) in Oakwood, Ohio, near Cleveland.

The company says the investment will be used to install optical sorting scanners for fiber and plastic designed to optimize the recovery and quality of recycled materials. The project also includes system upgrades to support what WM calls sophisticated glass salvage and cleaning, as well as a fire detection system designed to detect and extinguish fires before they start. propagate.

In addition, the storage space for baled goods at the current recycling center is expected to increase from approximately 7,000 square feet to 32,000 square feet.

Construction of the expanded facility has already begun and the project is expected to be completed by March 2023, WM said.

“WM works with our customers to help them meet their recycling needs, and with over half a million customers in Ohio, it’s critical that we continue to invest in our communities and grow our recycling infrastructure. recycling,” said Aaron Johnson, Vice President of the Great Lakes Region. president of WM. “At its core, WM is a sustainability company, and with this investment in the Cleveland community, our team is proud to reinforce our commitment to the environment.”

The waste management and recycling company says the project is part of its planned $275 million investment in recycling infrastructure in 2022, bringing the company’s overall investment in new and upgraded recycling facilities to more than $1.3 billion since 2018.

As demand for products with recycled content continues to rise, the investment should enable WM to capture more recycled materials and increase access to recycling for its customers, the company says.

A brand new recycling education room is also planned for the Cleveland MRF, which will be open to the public for education sessions and scheduled tours.

Currently, WM operates four MRFs in Ohio. With this expansion, WM’s Cleveland facility is expected to become the state’s premier recycling processing center. WM plans to add 40 more positions to the site and provide “the opportunity to hone current roles as technology is added.”

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) recently announced a $200,000 award Market Development Grant to support planned improvements to the recycling process. The grant award continues what WM calls a strong collaboration between WM and the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District to improve recycling capabilities in Ohio.

“The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District is thrilled that WM has chosen to expand recycling capabilities in northeast Ohio as it will serve as a catalyst for other sustainability efforts in the region” said Elizabeth Biggins-Ramer, executive director of Cleveland-based Cuyahoga Recycles. . “Additionally, the WM Education Center will provide residents, businesses and community leaders with the opportunity to learn how to properly recycle.”

“This facility will provide greater opportunity for local single-stream recycling solutions,” adds WM’s Johnson. “We are proud to bring state-of-the-art equipment and technology to the people and businesses we serve in Cuyahoga County and beyond, helping to make Ohio cleaner and greener for everyone.”

WM describes itself as the largest provider of comprehensive environmental waste management solutions in North America through its subsidiaries that provide collection, recycling and disposal services to residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers in the States United States and Canada.