Milwaukee Area Recycling Facility Latest Recipient of Aluminum Beverage Can Capture Grant Program Funded by Ardagh Metal Packaging and Crown Holdings

Ardagh Metal Packaging and Crown Holdings funded a new aluminum can capture grant awarded to a recycling facility jointly owned by City of Milwaukee and Waukesha County to install equipment that will capture crushed or flattened cans missorted into the material destined for the landfill. Once installed in the recycling sortation facility, this equipment will result in more than 27 million more aluminum beverage cans captured annually.

When more than 27 million additional cans are captured and recycled each year at this one facility, it will generate more than $400,000 in new annual revenue and produce enough energy savings each year to power more than 10 million U.S. homes for one hour. Further, the carbon dioxide equivalent emissions avoided each year will be the same as is generated from an average passenger vehicle driving nearly 7 million miles, which is the distance from New York to San Francisco almost 2,300 times.

While recycling equipment called eddy currents are extremely effective at sorting out aluminum packaging from the rest of the single stream recyclables at a material recovery facility (MRF), crushed or flattened cans can occasionally be lost prior to when the recyclables are run through a facility’s existing eddy current. Placing additional eddy currents elsewhere at a MRF helps to capture missorted cans.

The facility, a single-stream MRF operated by Republic Services, processes 65,000 tons of material per year from the City of Milwaukee and 26 communities in Waukesha County. The Milwaukee area recycling facility is the fourth MRF to receive funding from a grant program facilitated by Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI). CMI partnered with The Recycling Partnership to evaluate and select the grantees, execute the grant program and provide technical assistance to ensure successful implementation. Earlier this year, The Recycling Partnership also worked with the City of Milwaukee to deploy more than 18,600 recycling carts and fund a city-wide education and outreach effort to support the transition to universal, every-other-week recycling collection. More than 10 million new pounds of recyclables, including cans, will be collected each year through this curbside recycling program upgrade. The can capture equipment investment in the Milwaukee area recycling system will help make sure that the increased volume of cans collected at curbside due to the cart deployment and education effort is sorted properly and ultimately made into new cans.

“The City of Milwaukee and Waukesha County are honored that our facility received this generous grant to purchase equipment to capture additional aluminum beverage cans, one of the most valuable commodities in our recycling program,” said Alan Barrows, land resources Manager for Waukesha County.

“Thank you to Ardagh and Crown for investing in recycling facilities to help more aluminum beverage cans complete their circular journey to becoming a new can,” said Rick Meyers, sanitation services manager for the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works. “This additional eddy current will help us ensure increased capture of aluminum beverage cans, which will deliver significant revenue to help sustain city services as well as enable our residents to make a larger environmental impact from recycling.”
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