Grandview company ‘revolutionary’ in method of cleaning up a dirty business

Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 4:13 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Americans generate a lot of trash. Every year, the Kansas City Metro Area sends around 3.5 million tons of trash to a landfill.

But a local company is working to change that, and in fact, to revolutionize the way trash is handled.

“Waste is such an interesting thing because no one wants to know what happens to it, but everyone 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 trash a month. Despite handling all that waste, it claims to be one of the cleanest facilities of its kind in the country. It has developed a method to more waste quicker — with less smell and less litter.

“We wanted to take the concept of how waste moves and really transform that here,” said Polowniak. “We took something that has 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 they’ve been in the trash 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 dump their loads to be sorted and consolidated before it hits the landfill. They take trash from across the metro, from big companies to homeowners.

“It prevents the needs for landfills in the cities,” said Starr. “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, even greener way to move garbage. The trash barely hits the ground as it’s dumped. Electric cranes screen for hazardous materials and metals that can be recycled.

“We reclaim as much metal from the waste stream as possible,” said Polowniak.

The trash that comes in doesn’t stay in the facility very long. It takes about six minutes to unload a truck and only another thirty to fill a truck and move it offsite.

“We’re the only ones in the country doing it this way,” said Starr.

Because the trucks get in and out quickly, Starr said there’s less smell, less noise and cuts carbon dioxide emissions by nearly a million pounds.

Grandview Mayor Leonard Jones welcomed the facility to his community.

“What they’re doing is revolutionary,” said Jones.

Jones said Raptor’s approach to waste works well in a metropolitan area since he provides a nearby place to take garbage without creating an eyesore in the city limits.

“Instead of trucks going from here to 20 or 30 miles away, they can stop here and unload,” said Jones. “This will save time, money and effort.”