Recycling Facility

History

The Athens-Clarke County Recovered Materials Processing Facility (RMPF) opened August 31, 1995. The RMPF is a one-of-a-kind recycling facility in Georgia, as recycling at the RMPF is the effort of a public-private partnership between ReCommunity Recycling (formerly FCR of Charlotte, North Carolina), and the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County. The $2.5 million facility was built with private funds. Athens-Clarke County owns the property and oversees the contract with ReCommunity. The facility is 22,000 square feet with 2,000 square feet used for office and educational space.

Materials

Recyclables are accepted at the RMPF in one clean commingled (mixed) stream (termed:  single stream): paper and bottles/cans mixed together. Over 30 different types of materials are accepted for recycling. View a list of items that can be recycled in Athens-Clarke County. No garbage is accepted at this facility.

The RMPF has the capacity to process up to 120 tons of recyclables per day per eight-hour shift. Currently, the recycling facility processes about 75 tons per day or 1,500 tons per month.

End-Markets

Where in the world do our recyclables travel once they leave ACC?

Mixed paper (newspaper, office paper, paperboard)
- Pratt Industries, Conyers, GA. Product: New cardboard boxes and other paper products.

Old Corrugated Containers (OCC)
- International Paper, Pine Hill, Alabama. Product: New cardboard boxes.

Sorted Office Paper
- Cascade Paper, Rockingham, NC. Product: tissue paper/ toilet paper.

Glass Bottles & Jars
- Strategic Materials, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. Product: New bottles & jars, reflective road paint, and more.

PET (#1 plastic)
- Mohawk Industries, Summerville, GA. Product: carpet. 

HDPE (#2 plastic both natural and pigmented)
- Envision Plastics, Reidsville, NC. Product: recycled resins for milk, juice, and cleaner/detergent bottles and more.

Plastics #4-6
- Greenmine Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. Product: recycled resin for a variety of new products.

Aluminum beverage cans
- Anheuser-Busch Recycling, St. Louis , MS a scrap metal broker.
- Novelis Corporation, Greensboro, Georgia. Product: aluminum cans, automotive components, and more.

Steel/Tin Cans
- Tube City, IMS, Glassport, PA. Product: new steel products: automotive, bridges, cans, and more.  

Trash/Residual
- Extracted from recyclables go to the ACC Landfill for $42/ton to dispose as trash. 

Expenses & Revenue

Fiscal Matters

The Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County has a 10-year put or pay contract with the Recovered Materials Processing Facility (RMPF) operator FCR that came up for renewal on January 16, 2006. At that time Athens-Clarke County renewed the contract for a period of five years. Athens-Clarke County pays the operator processing or tip fees to process, sort, and market the recyclables. The fee paid is based on a sliding or variable schedule, with lower processing fees per ton as tonnage increases. In addition, Athens-Clarke County receives an 80% share of the revenues from the sale of recyclables processed at the RMPF. The revenues help to offset expenses.

As tonnage increased and market prices improved for recyclables, the cost of processing has declined dramatically. In FY 1996 (July 1, 1995, through June 30, 1996), the net cost per ton (after revenues) to process recyclable material was $78.61 compared with a net profit of $9.45 per ton in FY 2005, 10 years later.