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GRIFFITH | A Griffith-based design build firm is constructing the country's largest residential recycling complex — one capable of processing more than 265,000 tons of mixed recyclables a year — in the Las Vegas area.

Cambridge Companies is building an 110,000-square-foot transfer station next to an existing 88,000-square-foot facility that will double Republic Services Inc.'s capacity in southern Nevada. The Griffith company helped design the layout and is now overseeing construction of the facility, which will be able to process 70 tons an hour, as compared to the 50 tons an hour that is typical at such facilities.

"We've been working on the project for almost two years now," Cambridge Companies Vice President of Project Development Jeff Eriks said. "In terms of the recycling facilities, this is the largest single-stream facility in the country."

Shipments of newspaper, cardboard, bottles, paper towels and metal cans will arrive at the Southern Nevada Recycling Complex, which will sort them out so they can be individually recycled. The transfer station will have the capacity to process roughly 1,000 tons of mixed recyclables every day, serving more than 535,000 households. 

"This is a special day for the city of North Las Vegas, Clark County and customers throughout Southern Nevada," said Tim Oudman, area president of Republic Services. "It is fitting that a recycling complex of this magnitude is coming to Las Vegas. Southern Nevada is home to considerable natural beauty, and this community is deeply committed to sustainability. We are truly proud to invest in a recycling complex that will help preserve the local environment for future generations, and enable customers to meet or exceed their recycling goals."

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Cambridge Companies has long had a business relationship with Republic, the second largest waste management firm in the country, Eriks said. The 26-year-old Griffith company has built, expanded or repaired more than 100 waste facilities.

The family-owned business handles design, construction and general contracting services throughout the United States. Cambridge typically employs around 20 at its Griffith headquarters, branched out nationally in 1998, and is currently licensed to do work in around 30 states, Eriks said.

Locally, Cambridge has worked on recognizable buildings, including the Crossroads Community Church in Schererville and the Times Media Co. office in Crown Point.

Cambridge Companies will put around 80 construction workers to work in the Las Vegas area while building the complex, which is scheduled to start in fall 2015. The facility will then employ 180 full-time employees who sort through and remove garbage and metals from a 10-foot-wide conveyor belt. Finished bales of paper, plastic and metals can weigh about 1,300 pounds, and will be shipped as commodities to domestic and international markets within 24 hours.

The Southern Nevada Recycling Complex will offer an interactive learning center and state-of-the-art technology, including an automated control system, the latest 2D/3D separation screens, touch screen controls, data acquisition monitoring, an eddy current to recover aluminum and remote access. Five optical sorters will maximize the recovery of all grades of plastic, including PED, containers and cartons.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.