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Posted on November 01, 2021

Oct. 29, 2021 – A long-awaited project providing a sustainable future for recycling in the metro kicks off next week.

Metro Waste Authority, the owner and operator of Iowa’s largest landfill, will begin operations at their new Metro Recycling Facility, in Grimes, Nov. 1.

This will be the new home for recycling from the agency’s Curb It! recycling program and beyond. At the facility, recyclables will be sorted into material types and baled for manufacturers to make into new products.

“Metro Waste Authority is committed to providing a sustainable recycling program. Through state-of-the-art equipment, outstanding education and strong partnerships, this new facility will improve recycling and benefit communities throughout the state,” said Executive Director Michael McCoy. 

The facility is only the second in the world to integrate newly created technology that reduces contamination early in the sorting process while increasing employee safety and providing a better output for material sales.

“This project is the result of collaboration and a shared philosophy by the cities in this region, and the economic and environmental impacts it will have on the area is something the metro community should be proud of,” said McCoy. 

According to McCoy, Metro Waste Authority’s commitment to education is carried through at the facility with an expansive education center. The space features a multipurpose area, an observation deck above the sorting floor and hands-on exhibits and activities for visitors of all ages to learn about accepted recyclables and the recycling process.

The Metro Waste Authority Board of Directors began discussions about a new recycling facility owned by the agency in 2018, after a downturn in the markets halted operations of many across the United States.

“Our agency has a strong history of solving industry problems with innovative solutions, and when it became difficult for our processor in Des Moines to recycle the materials our Curb It! recycling program brought in, we dug deeper to create market partnerships and find a way to keep those materials out of the landfill,” said McCoy. “We knew that if we wanted to provide a sustainable solution for recycling in the metro going forward, we had to have a hand in the whole process.”

“Just like when our agency was formed to create a regional approach with one landfill, we are excited to have this same opportunity with recycling,” said McCoy.

The agency is planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Metro Recycling Facility on Nov. 17.