Addressing the need to expand their processing capabilities, Republic turned to partner Cambridge Companies take on the challenge of developing a state-of-the-art facility that could accommodate the volume in the local market.

Jeff Eriks

Republic Services, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ) is an industry leader in U.S. non-hazardous recycling and solid waste. Through its subsidiaries, Republic’s collection companies, transfer stations, recycling centers and landfills focus on providing reliable environmental services and solutions for commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers. Republic and its employees believe in protecting the planet and applying common sense solutions to customers’ waste and recycling challenges and needs.


Cambridge Companies (Griffith, IN) is a design/build construction company located in the suburbs of Chicago. They have been in business since 1986 and have been focusing on the waste industry since the early 1990s. Cambridge has completed more than 100 waste facility design/build projects to date. While Cambridge is located in Chicago, they serve clients throughout the U.S. currently carrying licenses in 30 states, with the ability to add as needed.


As a world leader in recycling separation technology and sustainable solutions, CP Group (San Diego, CA) engineers, manufactures and installs some of the most technologically advanced Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) globally. Custom turnkey solutions for residential recycling, commercial and industrial processing, municipal solid waste processing, engineered fuel and more, are designed, manufactured and implemented by CP Group.


The Project

Republic Services has been serving the Las Vegas metro area for more than 20 years. With the increased participation in the residential recycling program across Southern Nevada, Republic had to expand their local processing capabilities. As part of the expansion, Republic will install dual 35 Tons per Hour (TPH) full single stream systems to accommodate the volume in the local market. Once this is completed, it will result in the largest residential recycling center in the U.S. with the capability to process 70 TPH.


Republic had discussed the project with a few firms but, ultimately, engaged Cambridge in September 2012 to help develop the solution to their problem. Republic chose Cambridge because of their experience in the industry and recently completed projects together including the Lorain County Resource Recovery Center in Ohio and Jacksonville, FL MRF. “Cambridge is excited to be partners with Republic Services on this industry-leading project and is looking forward to completing the design and construction for what will be North America’s largest residential recycling facility,” stated Jeff Eriks, Principal at Cambridge Companies, Inc.


The First Phases

The first step Cambridge took was to extensively look at ways to expand Republic’s existing facility. The challenge of the project was that the growing demand and increasing volumes already coming through the current facility would create downtime that Republic couldn’t afford. Ultimately, after nearly eight months of research, conceptual designs and budgets, Republic decided to move forward with construction of a new, state-of-the-art facility on property they owned adjacent to the current recycling center. Once that decision was made, Cambridge worked with Republic in development of multiple options for size and layout of the facility to match their intended throughput and equipment needs. Thus, the 110,000 sq. ft. facility outline was finalized. After a full year of conceptual design work and several meetings between Cambridge and Republic, the concept was completed and design was ready to begin.


The design phase began in late fall of 2013. Cambridge worked with their design team to create drawings that would be ready for Republic to use in order to bid the equipment that would ultimately process the material. Republic launched the bid in December 2013 and awarded the contract in April 2014 to CP Manufacturing. The design phase of the project lasted for eight months before Cambridge went to the city for building permits. The design phase is this long due to the fact that you need to get to a certain point before you can issue drawings to the recycling vendors. Once the contract is awarded, they need time to get their drawings to a point where you can match them up to ensure all the coordination is accurate. This is an ongoing process that is not completed until the project is built and turned over. There are a number of coordination items that need to be accounted for between the building, foundations, equipment and the end user. It’s important that you engage a qualified team to assist you in this process.


While the design and permitting was ongoing, Cambridge launched the project for bid in August 2014 to all local subcontractors. The bid process was very detailed and Republic was heavily engaged in the process. Ultimately, the final project budget, subcontractors and suppliers were finalized in October 2014 and construction was ready to begin on the $34.5 million project, including building and equipment.


Initially the project began in November 2014 with an early grading permit, as the full building permit process was ongoing. This permit carried the project through early January when Cambridge received a foundation release, which kept construction moving forward on the concrete foundations and other building work. Final building permits were obtained in early March 2015 and construction commenced at full speed. The building process will be difficult as Cambridge’s goal is to secure areas for CP to begin installation in late April 2015. Cambridge will continue to construct the building and site around the CP equipment install. CP is estimated to be on site for about five months. Cambridge has a goal to be completed with all work in November 2015.


Additional Features

The recycling center will feature an interactive learning center including large windows overlooking the processing area with a museum-like feel. The center will be open to the public showcasing the recycling process and the life-cycle of recycling for school groups, youth groups, customers, tourists and visitors of all kind.


The CP equipment being installed at the Southern Nevada Recycling Center is designed to convey, separate and recover high percentages of residential and commercial recyclables. This includes cardboard, newspaper, mixed paper, glass, mixed plastics, aluminum, and steel. The system is designed to run two lines at 35 TPH and separate the mixed material into marketable commodities that will be recycled into new items. The creative system design is for flexibility in operation, low maintenance and worker safety, with highly automated equipment and control solutions.


In order to house the equipment, special considerations were put into the design to accommodate the loads on the floor, the clearance heights inside the building as well as the power requirements of a system this large. Cambridge also worked with CP and Republic to design safety features into the building such as ensuring employees never leave the raised platform and have direct access to their break and locker rooms from the deck area as well as cooling for the hot desert summers and easy access to water bottle fillers while working. The final product is a 110,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art, expandable building constructed on 18 improved acres with ample parking for tour groups and employees. “This is a monumental accomplishment just over three years in the making from the start of the conceptual design phase. We are thrilled to finally see our vision for expanding recycling across Southern Nevada come to fruition,” stated Len Christopher, General Manager, Republic Services of Southern Nevada.


Jeff Eriks and Cambridge Companies (Griffith, IN) have worked in the waste industry for over 20 years. During this time, more than 100 solid waste design-build projects have been completed including new build, repairs, upgrades and/or modifications at transfer stations, recycling centers/MRFs, hauling companies, landfill facilities, office buildings and more. Cambridge continually monitors the industry to determine any new needs, changes or improvements that will benefit their clients and improve their design-build solutions. Jeff can be reached at (219) 369-4013, via e-mail at [email protected] or visit