9301 Johnny Morris Rd
Ever wonder where your recycling goes? We visited Balcones Resources, one of the top 50 recyclers in North America, which services UT Austin's campus. Serving approximately 75% of Austin’s Class A office buildings, Balcones Resources has grown to become the largest independent recycler in the Southwest. Their Austin location features a $25 million, state-of-the-art facility. Running two shifts a day at capacity, their Material Recycling Facility (MRF) can process 30 tons of single-stream recycling per hour. Balcones processes both residential and commercial single-stream recycling and resells the material to the commodities market, with clients in the US, Mexico, South America, and Asia. Their highest commodity is cardboard while one of the more difficult materials to recoup value on is glass. Through their MRF 70% of the work is done by the machines while 30% is done by workers as quality control, helping Balcones achieve 90-95% sorting accuracy.
In addition to their single-stream recycling, the facility has several environmentally friendly features including passive lighting, electric car charging station and solar panels.
This field trip was a coordinated effort with Interior Design Construction 2, taught by Tamie Glass (TA Heather Sutherland). Photos courtesy of Heather Sutherland.
Materials Lab >>>