Montgomery, Ala., Breaks Ground on Material Recovery Facility

Montgomery, Ala., Breaks Ground on Material Recovery Facility

Facility designed to recover 95 percent of recyclables and convert organic waste into CNG.

July 19, 2013
Waste Today Staff

Ground broke on July 17 on what developers are calling a revolutionary materials recovery facility (MRF) developed by Plantation, Fla.-based Infinitus Energy for the Montgomery, Ala., community designed to eliminate up to 85 percent of waste headed to the city’s landfill. The Infinitus Renewable Energy Park at Montgomery (IREP at Montgomery), will be the first facility to combine several of the most technologically advanced systems available for waste recovery to create an advanced integrated waste recovery facility. Eugene, Ore.-based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) designed, engineered, and will manufacture and install the MSW recycling system.

Eugene, Ore.-based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) designed, engineered, and will manufacture and install the MSW recycling system in Montgomery, Ala.

IREP at Montgomery will feature the latest in screening, air and optical sorting technology. The $35 million, 81,992-square-foot facility is expected to be operational by June 30, 2014. It is designed to process up to 225,000 tons of waste annually, and recover an estimated 95 percent of recyclables. In Phase II of the project, BHS subsidiary Zero Waste Energy (ZWE), Layfayette, Calif., will install its SmartFerm anaerobic digestion system to convert organic waste into compressed natural gas (CNG) and compost. 

The high-tech facility brought together leaders in the recycling and recovery industry from all over the world. BHS designed, engineered and is manufacturing and installing the turnkey facility. In-Line Tri-Disc technology from BHS and In-Flight Sorting technology from Nashville-based NRT will provide industry-leading separation efficiency and recovery rates. The facility will also feature air separation technology from global leader Nihot, an Amsterdam-based company with more than 750 operational reference facilities throughout the world.

“The United States alone produced approximately 250 million tons of waste in 2010. The exponential increase in waste over time creates a sustainability crisis if we don't dramatically alter the current waste model,” says Kyle Mowitz, CEO and founder of Infinitus Energy. “Infinitus Energy is delivering an economical ‘big picture’ solution to the multiple problems facing our world now and in the future to the City of Montgomery. The Mayor’s vision and commitment to our collaboration has made this possible, and we thank him and his capable staff, advisors and consultants in supporting us in our vision for a viable environmental and economical system and for the residents here.”

Once the facility is operational, residents will place all trash in one city-issued bin, which will be collected by the city of Montgomery sanitation department, and taken to the Advanced Mixed Materials Recovery Facility at the Renewable Energy Park. There it will be separated using the latest in screening, air and optical separation technologies. The system sorts and recovers commodities such as cardboard, mixed paper, metals, aluminum cans, plastics and wood based on density, size, shape and material composition. Additional sorting will be done by hand at the site. The advanced technology allows the facility to accept a larger variety and volume of potentially recyclable products than other recycling methods.

“The beauty of this project is that residents don’t have to do anything differently. All of the separating takes place at the MRF,” says Mayor Todd Strange, “and the 25-year partnership the city has with Infinitus ensures that materials will be recycled.”

“IREP at Montgomery will provide recovery rates not achievable by single stream recycling programs that rely on residents to sort trash themselves, which addresses the recycling needs of the community without additional capital investment from the city,” Mowitz adds. The project will significantly reduce the amount of waste in the city’s North Montgomery Sanitary Landfill and extend its operational life by many years. The facility can process up to 225,000 tons of waste per year and municipalities and commercial businesses within a 90-mile radius from the facility may also contract to process their waste at IREP to achieve aggressive recycling rates.

Officials breaking ground on the new IREP Montgomery facility are left to right: City of Montgomery Public Works Director Chris Conway; Montgomery County Commissioner Dimitri Polizos; Hank Hutchinson with Capell & Howard PC; Montgomery City Councilman Richard Bollinger; Montgomery City Council President Charles Jinright; Infinitus in-house counsel Susan Miner; Infinitus COO Angel E. Mendez; Infinitus Energy CEO Kyle Mowitz; Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange; Bulk Handling Systems CEO Steve Miller; Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board Horace Horn; Oppenheimer & Co. (financing arm) Jandra Lubovich; Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Harris; and Alabama Department of Environmental Management Director Lance LeFleur.

“This is a long-term green investment in our city and state. With this project, Montgomery will be seen as a leader and trendsetter in implementing green technology for the benefit of both our residents and our planet,” said Mayor Strange. “Diverting tons of material away from landfills and incinerators and turning those materials into valuable resources generates a host of financial, environmental and societal returns.” 

IREP at Montgomery sits on a 74-plus acre industrial site. The facility is pressurized and all waste is stored inside, thereby not emitting additional odor, contamination or noise to the area. The cost of the materials recovery facility is approximately $35 million. The project will create approximately 110 local jobs.

“This is another great day for Montgomery as we welcome Infinitus Energy to our growing business community,” said Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board Horace Horn Jr.  “The cooperative spirit among our elected and community leaders makes it possible for us to continue bringing new jobs and innovative businesses such as Infinitus Energy to the River Region.”

“Both populations and per capita waste are increasing and landfills across the world continue to reach capacity. Infinitus Energy has a clear vision of how to turn the challenges of waste disposal into an asset,” adds Mowitz. “This is leading edge technology that can have a direct impact on the quality of life for residents of the Montgomery community.” 

Infinitus Energy provides integrated waste processing solutions with economic and environmental benefits for municipalities and companies nationwide. Infinitus Energy specializes in designing, developing, financing, building and operating waste recovery facilities. The company’s Renewable Energy Parks address the multiple challenges posed by the volume of waste deposited into near-capacity landfills across the globe. The Renewable Energy Parks convert waste into profitable resources; maximize high value material recovery at a rate of 95-99 percent with no required capital investment from the supplier of the waste stream; and are turnkey facilities managed and maintained by Infinitus.