Resource Recovery Centre: if you have been procuring commercial waste management or recycling services for any period of time, you will have heard varying and competing claims by waste companies as to how they will recycle your waste and how they are more environmentally friendly than other operators(with better facilities etc). Today we will walk through some of the types of resource recovery centre and MRF ( Materials Recovery Facilities) and how they operate.

 

Waster is a business focused on delivering low cost and flexible waste and recycling services to small and medium Australian companies. Check out our prices and services – or book online in our waste shop:

 

How does a resource recovery centre work?

 

The waste industry in Australia is getting smarter every year and due to the heavy cost of dumping at landfill – due to government levies on this, and also the potential value to be gained in selling on commodities collected – more and more materials are being recycled and reused. When recycling bins such as cardboard recycling or comminged yellow bins are collected, they will be taken to a resource recovery centre. Progressively, general waste is also being taken to such facilities where it can be separated into recycling components.

 

MRFs are being rolled out across Australia (they were initially introduced in the US in the 1970s) by many different companies. As per Wikipedia, a MRF is :

 

“A materials recovery facility, materials reclamation facility, materials recycling facility or Multi re-use facility (MRF, pronounced “murf”) is a specialized plant that receives, separates and prepares recyclable materials for marketing to end-user manufacturers. Generally, there are two different types: clean and dirty materials recovery facilities.”

Resource recovery centre diagram

 

“A clean MRF accepts recyclable comingled materials that have already been separated at the source from municipal solid waste generated by either residential or commercial sources.” This is where your commingled and cardboard bins go.

 

At the facility the varying commodities are separated by numerous systems including spinning, shaking mechanisms that let separate items by size, weight, density etc. The separated items are then processed for recycling.

 

The latest trends and technology is seeing increased investment in mixed waste systems:

 

“A mixed-waste processing system, sometimes referred to as a dirty MRF, accepts a mixed solid waste stream and then proceeds to separate out designated recyclable materials through a combination of manual and mechanical sorting. The sorted recyclable materials may undergo further processing required to meet technical specifications established by end-markets while the balance of the mixed waste stream is sent to a disposal facility such as a landfill. Today, MWPFs are attracting renewed interest as a way to address low participation rates for source-separated recycling collection systems and prepare fuel products and/or feedstocks for conversion technologies. MWPFs can give communities the opportunity to recycle at much higher rates than has been demonstrated by curbside or other waste collection systems. Advances in technology make today’s MWPF different and, in many respects better, than older versions.”

 

Latest results internationally indicate that very high diversion (i.e. recycling rates) can be achieved – even as high as 90%. This is very exciting for the environment as we work harder to protect the planet and our living conditions.

 

For a look at incineration as a possible future technology – see waste collection Sydney. Also see rubbish collection Perth for an overview of our core focus areas. See our blog on carbon neutral waste services.