KCI provided engineering services for the first publicly-owned single-stream recycling facility in the state of Maryland, which quickly proved that being green can lead straight to gold by turning trash into cash. Our team worked closely with the county and operator, the Maryland Environmental Service, to design the Central Acceptance Facility, which includes a new transfer facility, retrofitted material recycling facility and infrastructure improvements at the existing Baltimore County Resource Recovery Facility. Challenges centered around orchestrating a multi-phased design and construction approach to replace the existing transfer facility, upgrading the supporting infrastructure, and renovating a 55,000-square-foot building to house new sorting and baling equipment to support single-stream recycling, all while maintaining existing operations.
Demolition and replacement of the existing free-standing transfer facility was completed first to remove operations from the existing building and make space for the single-stream system. Although the transfer station and recycling plant were originally two separate projects, it quickly became apparent that overlap would be required to meet the required deadline. As Phase I work continued at the transfer station, structural improvements in the single-stream building were executed so that the equipment vendor could begin installation prior to the start of the Phase II infrastructure and building system upgrades.
It was essential that we kept communication lines open and coordinated with all parties involved in order to get the facility up and running on schedule.
Daniel R. String, PEProject Manager
Opened to the public in May of 2013, the new two-bay, top loading transfer facility is significantly more efficient than its predecessor, now processing 1,200 tons of waste per day. The single-stream system, which opened six months later, maintains a throughput of 36 tons per hour or 250 tons of recyclables each day and can generate revenues between $20 and $30 per ton on the sale of recycled materials. Although the county originally estimated that the facility could return between $750,000 and $2 million annually after expenses, after six months revenues topped $2.3 million, vastly exceeding its proforma. The county’s nearly 900,000 residents can now take advantage of a more efficient and effective solid waste facility, environmentally-sustainable single-stream recycling, and future tax relief based on income projections from the highly successful Central Acceptance Facility.