Metro Waste Authority Material Recovery Facility

Des Moines, IA | Food + Industrial


To make consumer recycling easier and divert more waste from landfills, the Metro Waste Authority (MWA) invested in a single-stream materials recovery facility (MRF) serving 16 member communities throughout Central Iowa.


To keep up with environmental regulatory changes and prepare for the future growth of Iowa communities, MWA took steps to expand its operations.


ISG assisted with the planning and design of a new facility positioned on a greenfield site, 14 acres of previously undeveloped land, adjacent to the City of Grimes transfer facility. The new facility is capable of sorting 45,000 tons per year and with the option to expand to 60,000 tons per year in a single shift production schedule. Equipment capabilities include an advanced infrared optical sorting system, anti-wrapping screen to reduce downtime and improve fiber recovery and metal detection.

ISG and waste/recycling consulting firm, Sloan Vazquez McAfee, assisted with the complex bidding process by developing the request for proposal for the MRF equipment, reviewing the proposals, preparing financial proformas for each proposed system, and making recommendations based on equipment evaluation of performance characteristics and pricing.

Additional planning and design services included site evaluation, city and state permitting, and facility design. An educational room was included in the building to hold community meetings and view the plant floor from an overlooking window and balcony. The view decks connect into the walking platforms, allowing visitors to walk to a viewing area within the equipment operations—giving them a first-hand look at how the system works.

Currently in construction, the facility is scheduled for a fall 2021 completion.

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