The Monterey Regional Waste Management District Regional Environmental Park is both considered an Eco-Industrial Park and described as a prime example of a Resource Recovery Park. In 1991 it was recognised as the ‘best integrated waste management system’ in North America.
What might look to some like a mega recycling dump, has been carefully designed to optimise the waste which arrives by the hour, split into different groups such as the public drop-off recycling station and Last Chance Mercantile resale facility. Around 60% of the materials turned in to the Park’s Household Hazardous Waste collections, are reused by the community through a “drop and swap” programme, significantly reducing disposal costs.
A Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) processing more than 100,000 tonnes of community waste that arrives annually, with a 75% target for recycling and reuse. Significant amounts end up in the award winning Last Chance Mercantile, which then are sold back to the community. Construction and demolition materials are sorted as is waste wood. There’s also a wide range of green products composting and soil blending facilities.
Monterey was one of the earliest adopters of landfill gas to electric energy in the States, with 5 megawatts of electricity generated annually. Two years ago a compost pilot demonstration project using SmartFerm anaerobic system is processing 5,000 tons of organic material per year.
If this isn’t the usual form that Eco-Industrial Parks are envisaged, it graphically shows the overlap between organising recycling waste and their more effective reuse.