Monterey Retrofit Exceeds Expectations

Upgrade to 80-tph system increases diversion, revenue for Monterey Regional Waste Management District

“The district started to see immediate results…” That’s the experience Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWD) reported after it partnered with BHS in a retrofit in Q3 2020 to its 80-tph mixed waste Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). The $3.5 million upgrade was designed to improve diversion and increase revenue of recycled materials. And, according to a public report released in February 2021, the retrofit has surpassed their expectations.

“Even with increased contamination in the recycling stream during the pandemic (from 20% to 30% year-over-year), the MRF has increased its diversion by one percent (1%). The MRF is also on track to increase revenue $1.1 million/year,” says the February 12 report.

The reports also notes that BHS was able to move up manufacturing and installation of the equipment, conveyors and structure by two months, first installing an OCC Separator to improve OCC recovery; then an NRT SpydIR®-R with Max-AI® and a MetalDirector™ to recover California Redemption Value (CRV) containers from the residue line. In addition, an NRT ColorPlus™ optical sorter was installed to separate smaller OCC from mixed paper for higher value fiber products.

The retrofit enabled the District to boost their projected revenue by almost 20% and thus has reduced the estimated payback on the investment to three years. In addition to the increased recovery, staffing was reduced by three positions.

“The District anticipates the payback on the capital is about three years, while the upgrades will last at least ten years. The increase in revenue is achieved by lowering facility operational costs, improving the quality and marketability of recyclables, and recovering more recyclables like California Redemption Value (CRV) bottle and cans. This investment ultimately benefits rate payers and allows for future investments in technology that furthers efficiency and diversion, including robotics and other artificial intelligence systems.”
BHS is proud to partner with the District on this system and on the retrofit. We are committed to superior long-term performance of each system we build, ensuring the continuing success of customers’ operations.

Read the MRWD press release here:


Bulk Handling Systems (BHS)

Headquartered in Eugene, OR, BHS is a worldwide leader in the innovative design, engineering, manufacturing and installation of sorting systems and components for the solid waste, recycling, waste-to-energy, and construction and demolition industries. Wholly-owned subsidiaries include Nihot (Amsterdam), NRT (Nashville, TN) and Zero Waste Energy (Lafayette, CA). BHS is also the home of Max-AI® technology, a breakthrough artificial intelligence that identifies materials, makes intelligent decisions and directs equipment such as robotic sorters. Clients around the globe choose BHS because of its experience, dedication to cutting-edge technology, quality construction and durability, and unmatched customer service. BHS has built some of the largest and most durable MRFs in the world – and they are achieving the highest throughput, recovery, and purity rates in the industry.

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