KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) – Americans generate a lot of garbage. Each year, the Kansas City metro area sends approximately 3.5 million tons of waste to landfill.
But a local company is working to change that and, in fact, revolutionize the way waste is managed.
“Waste is such an interesting thing because nobody wants to know what happens to it, but everybody depends on it,” said Shawn Polowniak, co-founder of Raptor Recycle and Transfer.
Raptor Recycle and Transfer in Grandview handles more than 10,000 tons of waste per month. Despite handling all that waste, it claims to be one of the cleanest facilities of its kind in the country. He has developed a method to waste more waste faster, with less odor and less waste.
“We wanted to take the concept of how waste moves and really transform it here,” Polowniak said. “We took something that’s been done forever and said, why can’t it be done better?”
Last fall, Polowniak and Kit Starr launched Raptor Recycle and Transfer in Grandview. But I’ve been in the garbage business for several years. They teamed up and started a roll-off dumpster company in 2017, and that company evolved into Raptor Recycle and Transfer.
They describe the company as a waste transfer station. Trucks unload their loads to be sorted and consolidated before they reach the landfill. They take trash from all over the Metro, from large corporations to homeowners.
“It prevents the need for landfills in cities,” Starr said. “It allows us to take it away from where there are people.”
A big difference between Raptor and other companies is that Raptor has developed a more efficient, cleaner and even greener way to move waste. The trash barely hits the ground as it is dumped. Electric crane screen for hazardous materials and recyclable metals.
“We recover as much metal as possible from the waste stream,” Polowniak said.
The trash that arrives doesn’t stay in the facility very long. It takes about six minutes to unload a truck and just another thirty to fill a truck and move it off site.
“We’re the only ones in the country doing it this way,” Starr said.
Because trucks get in and out quickly, Starr said there’s less smell, less noise, and it cuts carbon dioxide emissions by nearly a million pounds.
Grandview Mayor Leonard Jones welcomed the facility into his community.
“What they’re doing is revolutionary,” Jones said.
Jones said the Raptor’s approach to trash works well in a metropolitan area since it provides a nearby place to take trash without creating an eyesore in the city limits.
“Instead of trucks going 20 or 30 miles from here, they can stop here and unload,” Jones said. “This will save time, money and effort.”