Athens Services has announced completion of a four-year, $40 million project to upgrade and enclose its Crown Recycling materials recovery facility (MRF) in Sun Valley, CA. On November 18, Athens unveiled the completed project to Los Angeles elected representatives and LA Sanitation and Environment Department officials, who toured the facility.

“This is a proud day for our company,” said Athens Executive Director Greg Loughnane. “It is part of our continuing commitment to build infrastructure that enables our customers to meet their diversion goals, all while being a good neighbor in the communities where we build and operate them. This facility represents our third MRF in the area. No other company has invested more in building MRFs in Los Angeles than Athens.”

Enclosed Facilities Benefit Neighbors, Employees, and Customers

Athens began steps to enclose the facility shortly after acquiring Crown in 2017. The main feature of the project is three buildings that provide a combined 251,000 square feet of fully enclosed space for operations.

The buildings provide multiple environmental benefits. An extensive dust collection system features negative air pressure, ventilators, and misters to reduce dust and odor. The addition of three new inbound scales and a new outbound scale will help to reduce wait times, benefiting customers and the neighborhood. Other environmental benefits include keeping out birds and other scavengers, storing rainwater from the roof in underground cisterns, and eliminating potential stormwater impacts.

“Ensuring the operations are conducted in fully enclosed buildings is the current best method for protecting the environment and the local neighborhood,” said Enrique Gonzalez, General Manager. “It makes a better place for our employees, customers, and neighbors.”

Higher Diversion and Lower Greenhouse Gases

Crown is the second Athens MRF to feature a Komar organics separation press (OSP) to screen organics waste and separate liquids. It is capable of processing 40-50 tons of material per hour. Athens is the only company in Southern California to employ this pioneering technology.

The OSP separates and recovers organics liquid for transport to anaerobic digestion facilities. There, the organic pulp is converted to renewable gas that can be used to fuel Athens’ collection fleet. The process also diverts methane-producing material from landfills. Both steps will help Athens customers and cities to comply with California’s climate initiative programs to reduce greenhouse gases, such as SB 1383.

The facility opened as Crown Disposal in 1960 and became a MRF in 1974. It currently has the highest diversion rate for processing construction and demolition (C&D) material in LA County. Improvements for processing C&D include a 2-ton overhead crane for C&D maintenance, Caterpillar loaders for loading, sorting, crushing, and excavating, and new grinding equipment to process C&D wood material.

For more information, visit