Waukesha County is Wisconsin’s third largest county located in the southeastern portion of the state. With 576 square miles, the county includes 37 municipalities with a combined population of over 389,000.

Milwaukee Waukesha Single-Stream Material Recycling Facility MRF

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The City of Milwaukee is located in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, the eastern neighbor of Waukesha County. The city boasts a population over 594,000 within 96 square miles.


The City of Milwaukee switched its recycling program to single-stream recycling in the Fall of 2011, shut down the processing equipment in the Milwaukee material recovery facility (MRF) making it a transfer station, and shipped recyclables to a MRF in Germantown for processing. Waukesha County, which was still under a dual-stream sorting system, was looking to switch to single-stream recycling. Waukesha’s privately-owned MRF didn’t have the space to expand to accommodate single-stream equipment.

The two units agreed to seek options if the combined tonnage processed made more economic sense versus what could be processed individually.


RRS assisted the city and county in preparing for the development of a request for proposal (RFP) for various replacement options for the current facilities that included scoping, identification of key issues, budget and pricing considerations, as well as program decision making framework.

The RRS team outlined an implementation process and schedule for the RFP process. The actual RFP was developed in collaboration with both agencies that sought pricing, revenue share, and third party material guarantees.

A financial modeling tool for public/private MRF development and operation was developed by RRS in order to evaluate the financial aspects of vendor proposals. The team worked closely with existing financial data and any pre-existing financial analysis, and integrated that data into the forward looking financial model.

RRS provided technical and administrative support during the RFP process including:

  • Attendance at pre-proposal meeting;
  • Provision of answers to oral questions at the pre-proposal meeting;
  • Written responses to both oral and written questions submitted as part of the pre-proposal process;
  • Technical procurement support to city staff;
  • Proposal pre-screening, reference checks;
  • Interview facilitation;
  • Detailed technical summary preparation for each proposal;
  • Year-by-year financial calculations with 10-15 year projections;
  • Final award notice preparation; and
  • Executive summary and slide deck preparation summarizing RFP process and results.

RRS assisted with the final contract negotiations including the development and evaluation of final documents, technical review of draft contracts, and development of a project implementation schedule. In addition, the team assisted with the finalization of technical and financial elements of the first intergovernmental agreement between the City of Milwaukee and Waukesha County to implement the project.


The City of Milwaukee and Waukesha County decided to expand the Milwaukee facility to a single-stream MRF that will accommodate materials from the city and 20 communities within the county.

According to the Waukesha County website:

Processing the combined recycling tonnage from both communities reduces the MRF capital expenses and operating costs per ton. The partnership should generate over 50,000 tons of recyclables each year, approximately equally split between the two communities.

RRS performed as the Owner’s Engineer during the installation and acceptance testing phase for the new facility. The 35 tons per hour facility, operated by ReCommunity, started receiving material on March 16, 2015.