Two new waste management developments — one is a technology, the other a company — will help companies divert waste from landfills and capitalize on the value of recovered materials.
Cox Enterprises’ Golden Isles Conservation Center, in Nahunta, Georgia, is using a new waste management technology for the first time in the US that breaks down waste tires and produces synthesis oil, carbon black, synthesis gas and steel.
The technology, developed by Italian company Piromak, uses organic materials such as wood chips to generate heat, which breaks down tires into their original components.
Cox won’t disclose the cost of the waste management technology or how soon the company expects to see a return on investment.
“In terms of ROI, we think this a great project,” Cox spokesperson Elizabeth Olmstead said in an email. “We’ve had several companies express interest in repurposing the components. Our sustainability program has thrived by identifying projects that are good for the environment and the bottom line. The Golden Isles Conservation Center makes a positive impact on both.”
By repurposing the materials, the Center has the capacity to daily remove the equivalent of 5 tons of tires from landfills and waterways, Cox says. The synthesis oil can be used as a substitute for many fuel-based products. The recovered carbon black can be used in products such as rubber hoses, inks, tires and plastics. Steel is the most recycled material on the planet and can be reused to make many new products. The synthesis gas generates heat for the closed-loop process.
While initially focusing on tires, the Center will serve as a research and development facility and explore repurposing additional waste stream products.
Meanwhile Meridian Waste Solutions has launched a new subsidiary, Meridian Innovations, that will invest in advanced byproduct recovery technologies and, in some cases, acquire downstream production assets, which could further capitalize on the value these recovered materials generate.
Meridian Waste’s core business will continue to focus on commercial and residential waste collection.
The company says commercial clients dispose of hug volumes of manufacturing residues on a daily basis, and many of these residues contain concentrated sources of otherwise valuable materials. If these materials are separated and further processed, they could yield superior economic value to that of their current disposal pathway.
Meridian Waste formed Meridian Innovations in response to this opportunity.
The new company has identified a technical development team of experts who, over the past 10 years, have invented and commercialized technologies that are currently generating more than $500 million per year in net income from process equipment costing less than $500 million to install. All of this value has been created through the recovery of materials from otherwise low value industrial byproduct streams.
“The solid waste industry has a responsibility to identify and maximize economic benefit from the materials it collects for processing and/or disposal,” said Meridian Waste CEO Jeff Cosman in a statement. “Through the creation of Meridian Innovations, our Company is committed to exploring and implementing sustainable technologies, while simultaneously creating shareholder financial value. It is imperative that both sustainability and economic benefits are jointly respected and gained.”