Processing Procurement

KCI assisted the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) with the procurement and development of an Authority-owned Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).  KCI initiated the project by reviewing and shortlisting potential vendors based upon ECUA’s short and long term goals.  KCI then assessed various recycling and processing scenarios including different types of processing options, ownership and operational responsibility options, regionalization opportunities, and flow control issues. Once the framework of the facility was determined, KCI assisted ECUA through two procurements for the processing equipment vendor and MRF operator, which involved developing procurement documents, developing proposal comparisons, participating in team meetings, shortlisting vendors, and negotiating the contracts and terms.  For the equipment procurement, KCI also reviewed MRF design including building specifications and processing system design, drafted the performance statement, and monitored construction progress.  For the operator procurement, KCI negotiated the operating fees and revenue sharing terms and drafted the contract.  The MRF began operation in October 2016, a little over a year from the initial request for proposals.  Currently, KCI is assisting ECUA with developing inter-local agreements with neighboring jurisdictions for processing their single stream recyclables at the MRF.


Biosolids Compost Operations and Marketing

KCI provided technical assistance to the Emerald Coast Utilities Authorities (ECUA) in all steps of the design and startup of its biosolids composting facility, which composts ground yard waste with biosolids.  KCI conducted a mass balance study to determine tonnage limits and a composting maturation analysis to identify site requirements.  KCI then advised ECUA’s engineer on the conceptual design of the site, developed an operations plan, identified equipment specifications, and prepared permit applications to the FDEP.  Once construction of the site was completed, KCI facilitated the start-up by training ECUA staff in the modified static aerobic pile (MSAP) composting method, which is a novel composting method that expedites the composting process while reducing operating costs and potential odors issues.  KCI also trained staff in equipment operation and regulatory monitoring requirements.

KCI also assisted ECUA in identifying potential end-user markets for the finished compost.  An open house, organized by KCI and ECUA, showcased the new facility to potential trial partners, including sod farmers, landscapers, greenhouse and horticulture professional, county parks and recreation, and Florida Department of Transportation.  The open house was the kick-off event to develop compost markets in the Pensacola area.  For the open house, KCI produced a full marketing packet that was handed out to the attendees with information about the facility, the compost process, benefits and uses of compost, and compost test results.  Following the open house, KCI assisted ECUA in obtaining long-term bulk buyers of its compost, including reaching out to and conducting face-to-face meetings with potential end-users in the area.  KCI has also produced a brochure to distribute to end-users advertising ECUA’s composting program.  One compost distribution began, KCI provided technical assistance to ECUA for tracking the compost sales.

KCI has further assisted ECUA in advertising the program by submitting an article for the USCC newsletter and preparing award nominations to SWANA, RFT, NWRA, and USCC.  This program has been awarded the following: SWANA 2016 Gold Excellence Award in the Composting category; NWRA 2016 Organics Recycler of the Year; NWRA 2016 Best Recycling Public Education Program; {fill in if they get the USCC award}

Recyclables and Mixed Waste Processing Options


KCI has been working closely with ECUA as it defines and evaluates a flexible solution to address both its interim and long term material processing needs and enhance waste diversion.

KCI assisted ECUA in identifying potential alternatives for the acceptance, processing, and marketing of recyclable material collected from residential customers. In this analysis, KCI reviewed the feasibility of implementing mixed waste recovery options for ECUA material. To identify recyclables processing options, KCI gathered information from local and state entities, recycling industry leaders, processing vendors, and KCI’s knowledgebase in a five-state area including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Results from this research assisted ECUA in making an informed decision on how to most economically process their collected recyclable material.

KCI assisted with an RFQ for Mixed Waste Processing and Recycling Services.  The intent was to develop processing capacity in the Florida Panhandle to eliminate the need to transport recyclables to Alabama for processing, as well as to develop mixed waste processing to assist in meeting the State’s 75% recycling goal.  KCI participated in reviewing proposals submitted by seven vendors and in interviews/presentations with the four top-ranked companies.  KCI then participated in negotiations with the two top-ranked companies.  Final negotiations are underway with the top-ranked firm.

KCI assisted ECUA with the construction of Florida’s newest, state-of-the-art MRF for processing single stream recyclables.  KCI provided technical specifications for procurement documents for both a MRF equipment vendor and operator.  KCI evaluated vendor proposals, worked side-by-side with ECUA during vendor selection and contract negotiation.  Construction of the MRF was completed in September 2016 and began operation in October 2016.  With the assistance of KCI, ECUA was able to construct their MRF, from procurement to commissioning, just over a year.

MRF Performance Testing   

As part of ongoing materials processing assistance, KCI is currently coordinating with the equipment provider and acting as ECUA’s representative during the performance testing of ECUA’s 25 ton/hour single stream MRF.  The test will ensure that the system achieves the stated performance standards (e.g., throughput, purity, and recovery).  Initially, KCI negotiated the terms of the vendor’s performance statement prior to MRF development.  Once the system was installed and operating, KCI reviewed and critiqued the vendor’s performance test work plan.  KCI staff was present on-site for the duration of the acceptance testing to focus on oversight, monitoring, and assurance that procedures are implemented in accordance with the work plan.  KCI reviewed raw data and calculations from the vendor to ensure accuracy.  KCI confirmed that the system achieved all the required performance standards and KCI provided that determination to ECUA.

Recycling Education & Outreach Technical Support

ECUA requested KCI’s assistance to review its completed marketing materials and website, as a part of its MRF kick-off and recycling program outreach to its community.  An effective marketing campaign is needed to decrease contamination of incoming materials to the new MRF and increase recycling participation.  The goal of this project is for KCI to provide feedback on each assessed material, specific to its effectiveness in meeting its objectives.  KCI will also suggest outreach efforts to ECUA staff to promote and recognize the MRF project and its E&O efforts by identifying relevant national awards programs for ECUA submittal.  Additionally, KCI will assist in the preparation of an article for Resource Recycling Magazine.

Waste and Recyclables Composition Study

KCI conducted a one-season waste and recyclables composition study for ECUA. This study included four generator sectors:  (1) single-family residential waste, (2) multi-family residential waste, (3) single-stream recyclables, and (4) MRF processing residue.  The study revealed that 33% of residential waste consisted of materials that county have been recycled through the existing recycling program.  It further revealed that more than half of the MRF residue consisted of recyclable materials.  ECUA used the results of the study for future program planning, including the evaluating the feasibility of mixed waste processing.  KCI was responsible for all aspects of project planning and execution.


  • APWA 2016 Consultant of the Year (Kessler Consulting)
  • NWRA 2016 Organics Recycler of the Year
  • NWRA 2016 Best Recycling Public Education Program
  • SWANA 2016 Gold Excellence Award in Composting

“KCI has assisted with the procurement of equipment and an operator for ECUA’s new single stream recycling MRF. KCI was instrumental in the selection of a vendor, and ongoing negotiations related to that project. The KCI team is always knowledgeable, highly competent and very responsive.”

Randy Rudd

Deputy Director of Shared Services, Emerald Coast Utility Authority, Pensacola, Florida

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