Holding steady

Features - Supplement

The number of high-volume mixed C&D recycling facilities has remained stable over the last two years.

May 13, 2014
Kristin Smith

When Construction & Demolition Recycling magazine first published a map of Mixed C&D Sorting Facilities in 2010, it included 124 facilities. From 2010 to 2012, that number jumped to 157 or a 21 percent increase. While that seems like impressive growth, especially amidst an economic downturn, that increase could in part be the result of a better response rate from our multiple attempts to reach facilities via fax, phone, e-mail and the Web to verify their existence. We also included facilities in Canada for the first time in 2012. At that time, five Canadian recyclers were processing C&D that we knew of.

The number of facilities on our 2014 map didn’t experience the same growth as the previous two years, but still grew nonetheless. The 2014 version of the map lists 160 facilities, a 2 percent increase from 2012. More states also are represented on the list. A handful of new facilities were added in the Northeast and in Arizona and Arkansas, including Revolution Recovery with locations in Philadelphia and New Castle, Del.  Some facilities may go by a different name than they did two years ago as ownership may have changed hands.

Another notable difference from 2012 is in the facilities operated by Houston-based Waste Management Recycle America (WMRA). It no longer operates several mixed C&D recycling facilities that it did in 2012, including locations in Winter Garden, Fla.; Albany, N.Y.; Antioch, Tenn.; Houston, San Antonio and Hutto, Texas; Auburn, Wash.; and Etobicoke, Ontario. The firm added C&D recycling assets in Springfield, Mass; Chicago; and Phoenix. WMRA remains the largest operator of C&D recycling facilities in North America.

One constant on the map from year to year has been in the concentration of C&D recycling facilities. The majority of facilities continue to be located in the Northeast, California and Florida. This could well be the result of the amount of building development and the end markets available for materials in these regions. Perhaps opportunities exist in other parts of the country that have yet to be tapped into.

Based on our industry observations and research that went into this map, it appears as if the growth in the industry has slowed down from previous years. Existing facilities continue to make upgrades in order to capture as much from the C&D debris stream as possible. Many C&D recycling facilities that  opened up shop in the midst of the recession were operating well below their capabilities. Now that activity appears to be picking up for the construction industry in 2014, existing facilities who have made the investment in sorting equipment  will hopefully be positioned to capitalize on higher volumes, while opportunities may emerge for new facilities to begin processing loads of mixed C&D material. C&DR

Construction & Demolition Recycling Associate Editor Megan Workman provided research and verification of the mixed C&D recycling facilities included on this map.

Click here to view a PDF of the 2014 Mixed C&D Recycling Facilities Map.