WM announces plans to invest $56 million to advance recycling tech

The investment will allow WM to capture more recycled materials and increase access to recycling.

North America’s largest waste management environmental solutions provider, WM, announced plans to invest $56 million to advance recycling technology at three materials recovery facilities (MRFs).

This project marks part of WM’s previously announced plans to invest $800 million in recycling infrastructure through 2025 and includes automating existing facilities and developing new ones. With the demand for recycling content products expected to rise, the investment will allow WM to capture more recycled materials and increase access to recycling.

“Sustainability is WM’s core business,” said Jason Rose, WM Pacific Northwest Area Vice President. “This investment confirms WM’s longstanding commitment to helping Washington communities and businesses achieve bold sustainability goals.”

The investment will rebuild one MRF while upgrading two MRFs with new technology that reduces contamination and enables more recyclables to be processed in order to meet stringent quality standards, which will allow manufacturers to turn them into new products.

“WM is deploying cutting-edge technology to power efficient and high-tech recycling facilities,” said Rose. “It’s about reducing waste going to landfills and recovering more recyclables to be made into new products.”

The WM Cascade Recycling Center in Woodinville processes recyclables collected from communities and businesses across Western Washington. WM plans to rebuild this facility with a new design that’s anticipated to include the most technically advanced optical sorting, ballistic separators, and volumetric scanners, among others.

The rebuilt facility in Woodinville is expected to increase the overall recycling capacity and capture rate for environmentally significant materials, such as aluminum cans; paper and cardboard; and plastic bottles. A total of $34 million will go towards this rebuild, which is expected to begin at the end of November and be completed by the summer of 2023.

WM Spokane Materials and Recycling Technology Center, which serves Eastern and Central Washington, and North Idaho, will undergo upgrades that total $15 million. Upgrades are planned to begin in 2023 with expectations for completion by 2024.

WM JMK Fibers in Tacoma is another facility that will be impacted by the investment.