WM Billerica MRF hosts municipal officials

Tour is key to recycling education, reduced contamination

Billerica, Mass. – Located in eastern Massachusetts, Waste Management’s Billerica Material
Recovery Facility (MRF) leads a state-of-the-art recycling operation, processing more than 450
tons of materials each day. Advanced technologies, like plastic film management and better
separation of commodities, make it an ideal plant to address the state’s recycling demands,
and to serve as an ideal location to teach about recycling.

“We want to educate residents on how to recycle the right way so that we can improve the
quality of materials we intend to sell,” said Bill Caesar, president of WM Recycling Services.

Recently, the Billerica MRF hosted a tour of municipal officials and recycling coordinators from
more than 20 different communities. Attendees were led through the facility by Plant Manager
Fred Confalone, Public Sector Solutions Manager James Nocella, and Total Recycle Program
Manager Michelle Lee Guiney.

During the tour, the group experienced how the facility separates materials using screens for
extracting fiber products, magnets for pulling out metal containers, optical sorters for identifying
plastics and eddy currents for repelling aluminum cans. It wrapped up with a look at how bales
of commodities are stored for shipment.

From a strategic standpoint, tours like this are essential to educating customers on how a plant
operates, so that both WM and municipalities can work together to reduce contamination and
increase recycling. With quality standards being imposed by China, known in the industry as
the “Green Fence,” it’s up to WM to provide an end product for the commodity markets that’s
high in recyclable material and low in contamination.

The Billerica MRF currently has several municipal solid waste and recycling contracts, including
with the cities of Chelmsford, Lowell and Billerica. Geographically, the facility receives materials
north of Boston and through southern New Hampshire. Locally, it aids the economy with more
than 50 jobs.

In celebration of Earth Day, both WM Billerica and nearby Avon MRF will partner with their
respective communities to collect and recycle batteries.