SAN LEANDRO -- A recycling center has been expanded and upgraded to process more than 1.6 million pounds of construction, demolition and business material each day, recovering more than 90 percent for reuse rather than going to a landfill.
Before, the Waste Management center processed 700,000 pounds of mostly construction and demolition debris daily. But new technology means that the facility can handle materials from East Bay businesses with dry recyclables and increase the amount recovered, said the recycling program manager at the Davis Street resource recovery complex.
"The center can recycle boxes, pallets, five-gallon buckets, trash cans -- larger items that what you have at your house," Rebecca Jewell said. "It's not from the fast-food restaurants, the food processors, the grocery store or restaurants, but commercial customers such as a shoe store or department store."
The center is the only one in Alameda County that meets recycling diversion goals for both the county and the state's CalGreen building code, according to Waste Management.
The county set a goal to reduce the amount of materials dumped into landfills by 2020, said the recycling director for StopWaste, Alameda County's interagency waste management authority.
"In 2008, we did a yearlong study of everything that was going to the landfill in Alameda County. We found that about 60 percent by weight were materials that were readily recyclable or compostable. We want to drive that down to less than 10 percent," Tom Padia said. Alameda County diverted 72 percent from the landfill in 2011, according to the latest audit done in 2012.
The expanded $10 million material recovery facility is scheduled to begin full operation Wednesday. Waste Management hired 25 more workers to handle the increased volume, bringing to 325 the number of employees at the 53-acre complex that also handles residential recycling and green waste. Construction began in January, finishing in late April.
Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473 or follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.