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Materials recovery facility opens $21 million plant in New Mexico

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July 9, 2013

Friedman Recycling Cos. has opened a new facility in Albuquerque, N.M.: a $21 million, 90,000 square-foot single-stream materials recovery plant built to handle the region’s residential recycling.

The facility’s 30 tons per hour recycling system was designed, manufactured and installed by Bulk Handling Systems of Eugene, Ore. It includes new screening, air and optical sorting technology.

The plant has the capacity to process about 120,000 tons of recycled materials annually. It was built as a regional facility to serve an estimated 177,000 residents in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.

The company has a 12-year contract with the city, said Morris Friedman, president of Friedman Recycling, by phone.

The plant will employ 35 workers and plans to grow to 75 employees over time.

Albuquerque launched a new curbside recycling program earlier this year and plans to finish distributing its blue recycling carts by October. According to the city, residents can recycle plastic bottles or jugs made of PET or high-density polyethylene, most paper, small metal containers, aluminum cans and corrugated cardboard.

Materials are also accepted at recycling drop-offs throughout the city.

The plant will also handle commercial and industrial recycling and offers pick up for those customers. The facility can process all types of plastics (nos. 1-7), but discourages people from recycling plastic bags because they can clog up the system, Friedman said.

The plant will separate out recycled PET and high density polyethylene and also sell mixed rigid plastics, he said

Friedman broke ground on the plant, a public/private partnership between the company and the city, in Sept. 2012. It sits on 12.5 acres.

Friedman operates three processing plants — in Phoenix, Tucson, Ariz., and El Paso, Texas, — in addition to the Albuquerque facility. It has about 286 employees.

The family-owned company manages recycling for several cities in the southwestern U.S. including El Paso, Las Cruces, N.M., and Avondale, Ariz., as well as some smaller municipalities.