Balcones Resources acquires Florida MRF operator

Balcones Resources Inc., an Austin, Texas-based material recovery facility (MRF) operator and environmental services company that is 80 percent owned by New York City-based investment firm Closed Loop Partners, has announced the acquisition of Single Stream Recyclers (SSR) of Sarasota, Florida. According to a news release about the transaction issued by Balcones, the purchase “represents the growing footprint of best-in-class recycling facilities in the South focused on updating, optimizing and reinvigorating recycling infrastructure in the United States to keep valuable materials—paper, plastics and metals—in manufacturing supply chains.”

The acquired company will operate as SSR, a Balcones Resources Co.

SSR operates an artificial intelligence- (AI-) powered MRF in Sarasota, and Balcones operates MRFs in Austin, Dallas and in Little Rock, Arkansas.

“Bringing Single Stream Recyclers into the Balcones orbit moves us several leaps forward in our shared vision to scale modern, innovative recycling infrastructure to build circular supply chains,” says Joaquin Mariel, chief operating officer of Balcones Resources. “The energy, integrity and expertise that SSR’s operators bring to the table will only enhance our playbook and bring our specific level of excellence to more markets.”

John Hansen and Eric Konik, founders of SSR and industry veterans, have been working together since 2006 to modernize the recycling industry, Balcones says. They have more than 50 years of combined experience.

“We built SSR as we saw a huge need for improved recycling infrastructure with more efficient processing capabilities,” Hansen says. “With the growing demand from companies for high-quality recycled content, it is time to build the materials recovery facilities of the future that will be the hubs of these supply chains. In partnership with our friends at Balcones and Closed Loop Partners, we can scale the systems needed to realize that circular vision.”

Kerry Getter, chairman and CEO of Balcones Resources, says, “Together we will be able to offer state-of-the-art equipment and innovative technology that will help us continue to revolutionize the recycling industry.”

This is Balcones’ first acquisition since Closed Loop Partners obtained a majority stake in the company in 2019 through its private equity fund, the Closed Loop Leadership Fund. The Single Stream Recyclers purchase is part of what Balcones says is its strategy to scale recycling across the U.S.

Grand Rapids, Michigan, launches Feet on the Street recycling education campaign

The city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is partnering with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and The Recycling Partnership, Falls Church, Virginia, on a communitywide project designed to improve the quality of materials residents recycle in their curbside carts. According to a news release from the city of Grand Rapids, it launched The Recycling Partnership’s Feet on the Street cart-tagging recycling campaign in mid-September with communitywide education and outreach initiatives continuing through mid-November.

The city states that this new effort will improve the quality of recycling in single-stream curbside recycling bins by providing Grand Rapids’ roughly 55,000 households with personalized and real-time curbside recycling education and feedback. The city is providing a $15,000 matching grant to support the campaign.

“Recycling is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do, and this program furthers our strategic priority of health and environment,” says James Hurt, managing director of public services for the city of Grand Rapids. “This helps us minimize waste generation and promote waste diversion practices by improving the quality and amount of recycling we collect. We know our residents want to recycle the right way. Through the Feet on the Street campaign, we can provide them customized immediate feedback to do just that.”

Feet on the Street includes a comprehensive education and outreach strategy that involves a team of community-based observers who visit residents’ carts and provide tailored feedback on how to improve the quality of their recyclables.

The initiative aligns with EGLE’s “Know It Before You Throw It” recycling education campaign. That effort promotes best practices and emphasizes that recycling saves resources and translates into local jobs.