Waste Management aiming to open Transfer Station in Duluth Port area

By KBJR News 1

September 24, 2013 Updated Sep 24, 2013 at 2:01 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - With recycling and solid waste business at a near 50–50, Waste Management officials say a new station coupled with the right location is critical to ensuring the Northland's curbside recyclable needs are met.

In order to handle the anticipated 65 daily tons of plastics, glass, and paper that Waste Management is currently handling in the Northland, the company needs to find a new space to do business.

That space, says Waste Management Senior Engineer Gerard Hamblin, has been found in a 10,000 square foot building neighboring the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

"We looked at a lot of facilities for the potential of trying to move into and build this," said Hamblin. "We found it by [basically] driving around," he added, laughing.

Hamblin says the building along Port Terminal Drive meets most of the criteria Waste Management is looking for, and with $500,000 in improvements, the transfer station should be ready to handle the workload.

"The access is very good, obviously, because of all the activity with the port," said Hamblin.

The 65 tons of recyclables would be loaded onto 15 to 20 52–foot trailers every day before making the trip down to the Twin Cities Materials Recovery Facility.

The Twin Cities MRF handles roughly 1,000 tons of recyclables daily, and is the place where paper, plastic, and glass goes to be sorted for re–use.

"That will then get sent to twin cities recovery facility and be... sorted and processed there for distribution. So, it's extremely important to us as far as a feeder facility," says Waste Management Senior Manager of Corporate Real Estate Anne Fridrych.

So far, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority has approved their portion of the lease agreement that would make Waste Management their newest neighbors.

The next step, says Fridrych, is to apply for a building permit that would grant the expansion they're hoping for.

"...and then start construction, and hopefully occupy [it] by the end of the year," she added.

...all a part, says Fridrych, of making recycling in the Northland as efficient as possible.

The current Waste Management Transfer Station in Superior would be replaced by the new Duluth location.

Officials say it will bring about four new jobs to the port area.

Billy Wagness

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