When waste streams collide

Waste management companies leverage broad service portfolios to meet a growing need for specialized waste processing.

Looking broadly at the waste industry, several material streams come into play. Municipal solid waste and recycling; commercial, industrial and institutional; organics; and construction and demolition (C&D) debris have all evolved differently.

In the beginning, these streams were almost exclusively handled by companies that specialized in their processing. While some might still opt for specialization, others attempt to do it all, developing into some of the most successful waste companies that have found leverage in offering a one-stop-shop for residential, commercial and industrial waste management needs.

An example of this can be found in this month’s cover story, titled “Filling a niche.” After having garnered decades worth of accumulated knowledge from family members with deep roots in the waste industry, Michelle Kuhar and her husband, Paul, launched Champion Waste & Recycling Services in 2002 with the hope of “taking this one all the way.”

Although the Dallas-based company focused primarily on commercial hauling in its early years, it has since grown to become a comprehensive waste-diversion and recycling company, having built a commercial single-stream material recovery facility (MRF), a C&D MRF, a wood processing facility and a new organics facility. By recognizing opportunities within shifting end markets and taking advantage of new technologies, Champion Waste & Recycling has set itself up for the long haul.

“One Step Ahead” is a similar story in which Athens Services shares its story of integrating organics collection and composting into its portfolio of services. The California-based company, which has been in business since 1957, announced its addition of food waste collection services at the beginning of this year following the passage of S.B. 1383, a California law requiring the diversion of food waste from the waste stream.

To better serve the roughly 2.2 million residents and 40,000 commercial customers within its service areas, Athens Services implemented widespread outreach efforts and made significant upgrades to its existing composting facility.

Through the adoption of a new Organic Separation Press, which the company developed in collaboration with Ohio-based Komar Industries, Athens Services has been able to recover organic liquid for use in the production of renewable natural gas. In addition, an updated covered aerated static pile composting system has allowed the company to increase its production from 460 tons per month to 700 tons per month.

Alongside Champion Waste and Athens Services, companies throughout the nation have found value in offering a broader range of waste solutions. For many, the addition of one material stream can ultimately create more potential in others, such as with depackaging operations for food waste or biochar production from wood recovered from C&D operations.

September 2022
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