DES MOINES, Iowa — Back in 2018 China announced that it would no longer buy plastic waste from places like the United States. Since then, local and national recycling facilities have been going out of business or having their recyclables sent to the landfill.
Executive Director of Metro Waste Authority, Michael McCoy said that after years of innovation and planning, they will be opening a new recycling facility in Grimes.
“So as Metro waste has been innovative for 52 years, the staff sat here in this room for hours, figuring out other ways to get rid of that commodities and the recyclables and to their credit, found the ways to keep all of our recyclables out of the landfill that really spurred this whole project of if we want to do it right,” said McCoy. “And if we want to have those, right, those good relationships with folks around the country, as buyers, we are going to need to do it ourselves.”
The facility is a 100,000 square foot building with $13 million of equipment. The equipment is new and efficient. MWA will be able to sort materials that have never been able to be sorted in this region before.
This building also includes an education center, with the second floor being a viewing area for community members to learn, ask questions and see how their materials are being recycled.
“That overlooks two glass windows and a balcony that will watch the entire operation. So that’s probably for me the coolest piece of this entire operation. Yes, the machines will do their thing and bail. But to watch it and watch the kids and the public interact with it is was an important part of this project,” McCoy said.
The facility is located on Beisser Drive in Grimes. It will begin operations on November 1 and a ribbon-cutting ceremony is being held on November 17.