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FCC’s Material Recycling Facility at Houston (Texas) honoree as the Best Recycling Facility of the USA


FCC’s Material Recycling Facility at Houston (Texas) honoree as the Best Recycling Facility of the USA

The Houston Material Recycling Facility (MRF), built, financed and operated by FCC Environmental Services, the American FCC’s affiliate specialized in delivering environmental services, has been honored with the Recycling Facility of the Year 2020 award by the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA). This award recognizes innovations and state of the art constructions and operations in recycling facilities. FCC won this same award   in 2017 for its Dallas MRF, also in Texas. These facts allowed the company to become the biggest recycling firm in the Lone Star State. 

The Houston MRF started operations in 2019, after the city of Houston awarded FCC a tender with the purpose of designing, building, financing and operating this facility, for a term of 15 years with a possible 5-year extension, which means an order book value in excess of $250 million. The state–of-the-art Recycling exclusively receives, sorts, recovers and markets all the city’s recyclable materials.  The plant has been designed to process up to 145,000 tons per annum and represents an investment over $25 million. The sorting process is fully automated and is equipped with the latest material separation technologies. Optical and elliptical sorters, screen and cleaning systems for paper, cardboard and glass, EDDY current and overband magnetic separators are some of the sophisticated technologies that have been implemented. The plant spreads over a space of 11,200 square meters, while the office building covers a total of 1,300 m2 and the workshop about 700 m2. This brings the total area of the facilities to 5 hectares, the equivalent of eight football fields.

These installations allow Houstonians to put more materials in their recycling bins and less in the landfills, therefore increasing the amount of secondary raw materials produced. Since 2016, Houstonians had been asked to remove glass from the recycling bin, but with the FCC recycling facility, glass can be recycled again and turn it into revenue. Another important improvement, in which FCC is a pioneer in the US, is the separation of plastic film using an optical sorter and a vacuum system, and cardboard tridimensional sorting systems suited to small particles, both integrated into the process line. 

FCC has also built an educational center within this facility to help the City of Houston meeting its environmental goals by training and educating children and adults in best practices for sustainability and recycling.

With this important and prestigious award, FCC consolidates its leadership at the forefront of innovation in urban solid waste collection and recycling systems, a sign of the company's identity since its incorporation 120 years ago. 

The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) is the leading organization providing leadership, advocacy, research, education and safety expertise for the waste and recycling industries. NWRA advocates at the Federal, State and Local levels on all issues of importance to its member companies as they provide safe, economically sustainable and environmentally sound services to communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

About FCC Servicios Medio Ambiente

FCC Servicios Medio Ambiente, that delivers environmental services at FCC Group, is present in the USA through FCC Environmental Services, which carries out activities of collection, recycling and treatment of urban solid waste, industrial waste management and de-contamination of polluted soils, among others. In the last five years FCC Environmental Services has accumulated a portfolio of contracts signed in excess of 2 billion dollars, including waste collection services in Omaha, Nebraska and Palm Beach, Florida, and serves more than 8 million Americans. During 2019 the company has processed and marketed around 150,000 tons of recyclable materials, thus helping to divert waste from the landfill in the cities where it operates.

In the last months, FCC Servicios Medio Ambiente, which serves nearly 60 million people in 12 countries, has achieved significant success both in Spain, where it has been awarded the cleaning tender of A Coruña and has renewed the contract with the city of Oviedo, and internationally. In the United Kingdom, FCC Environment UK has recently closed an agreement with the Danish fund Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) to develop in Lostock one of the largest waste-to-energy facilities in Europe, with a throughput of 600,000 tons per year. With it, a total treatment capacity of 3.2 million tons per year and a power of 360 MWe of non-fossil energy will be achieved.