CP Group Equips High-Volume Iowa MRF


San Diego-based CP Group helped outfit a new materials recovery facility (MRF) commissioned by the Des Moines, Iowa-based Metro Waste Authority (MWA).

The California-based equipment and technology provider says MWA was challenged by an uncertain future after the People’s Republic of China adopted its National Sword Policy prohibiting the import of certain scrap materials. The agency chose to develop a new MRF “to provide a sustainable solution” for the Des Moines metro area in response to the challenge.

MWA, which was established in 1969, provides solid waste and recycling services to more than 30 communities and two counties in the Des Moines area comprising nearly 100,000 households. Its staff began discussions with its board about a new agency-owned recycling facility in 2018 as the disruptive aspects of National Sword became clear.

“Metro Waste Authority has a long history of solving industry problems with innovative solutions, and when it became difficult for our third-party processor to recycle materials, our Curb It! recycling program in place, we dug deeper to create business partnerships and find a way to keep these materials out of the landfill,” says Michael McCoy, Executive Director of MWA. “We knew that if we were going to provide a sustainable future for recycling in the subway, it would require a change in course for the processing and sale of materials.”

After a feasibility study supported a new, technologically updated facility for the region, the MWA Board decided to move forward with the construction of an agency-owned and operated MRF .

To create a successful program, MWA strived to emphasize cutting-edge technology, strong partnerships, and exceptional education when developing the new facility.

The agency was looking for a partner to design, manufacture and install processing equipment in the new plant. After soliciting solution proposals from sorting system technology companies, MWA’s Board of Directors selected CP Group. “CP Group understood our vision for an improved sorting system that would capture more material, reduce contamination and provide safe and pleasant working conditions for staff,” says McCoy.

CP Group has developed a system designed to improve the purity of recovered products, require low maintenance and protect workers.

At the front of the system, a primary auger screen and an OCC auger screen work together after the infeed conveyor to break down material before it is handled by hand sorters, “eliminating pre-sorting and creating a more safe,” says CP Group.

The primary auger screen creates a sub-6 inch fraction that sends overs to the patented OCC auger screen and unders to the CP glass breaker (which removes glass and fines) and then to the CPScreen which has new anti-packaging discs for separating two-dimensional from three-dimensional material. MWA is the first in the world to integrate the OCC Auger Screen into a single-stream sorting application, according to CP Group.

The patented OCC auger screen features cantilevered steel augers that generate high agitation to create an OCC-rich stream while breaking up smaller materials. “This machine won’t wrap or jam and requires very little maintenance,” says CP Group.

The eight-inch cutter sends pennies, instead of going in place of a traditional paper screen, to a Fibermax optical sorter made by subsidiary CP MSS. The MSS Fibermax sorts the contaminants while the surplus is sent to the OCC’s quality control area, where large rigid materials, metals and residues are extracted.

In addition, there is a CP LightsOut air drum separator for cleaning glass and two MSS Plasticmax units for sorting containers.

CP’s new auger silos are also being installed in Des Moines, designed to maximize silo storage volumes. The augers act as a material metering system that eliminates half bales and quarter bales by dumping the correct amount of material to be baled.

“This state-of-the-art equipment package from CP Group reduces contamination early in the sorting process, allowing us to produce the best return for material sales and supporting the strong partnerships we have cultivated with brokers and end-market users,” says McCoy.

In addition to establishing a state-of-the-art recycling operation, the new recycling facility also builds on MWA’s commitment to education by including a dedicated learning space. The space features a permanent exhibit that includes educational kiosks, interactive infographics, and a handy sorting station for visitors of all ages to learn about acceptable recyclables and the recycling process. The center also features an observation deck above the sorting floor, a mural designed by a local artist, and a multipurpose space for community discussions, presentations, and other meetings.

“The facility is the result of collaboration and a shared philosophy by the cities and the county, and it will improve recycling and benefit communities across the state for years to come,” McCoy said. “Just like when our agency was created to create a regional approach with one landfill, we are excited to have that same opportunity with recycling.”

MWA officially began operations at the MRF in late 2021. The new 101,100 square foot single-stream facility processes materials at 25 tons per hour and has room to expand as the region’s needs grow. Improved recycling processing material are evolving.

Metro Waste Authority has an MRF we can be proud of, and we are pleased to be their partner in bringing the latest innovations in recycling technology to the region,” said Terry Schneider, President and CEO of CP Group. “This facility will serve the greater Des Moines metro area with sustainable solutions for many years to come.”

CP group specializes in MRF design, manufacturing, installation and service. Its portfolio of businesses includes CP Manufacturing, Krause Manufacturing, MSS Inc. and Advanced MRF and its services include recycling system design, manufacturing, retrofits, audits, service and consulting. The group, founded in 1977, provides what it calls turnkey solutions for mixed waste, residential, commercial and industrial recycling, construction and demolition, paper, plastic and e-waste.

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