Resource Recovery Centre ♻️: How Materials Are Recycled From Waste
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.
Table of contents for this article include:
How does a resource recovery centre actually work?
The MRF or resource recovery centre promises a great future – where we can recycle very large amounts from even mixed general waste bins – removing the entire need for cardboard or commingled recycling bins at all.
A bit about Waster and how we can help your business!
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.
We provide all your required waste services on one simple invoice – from sanitary services to general waste bins or cardboard recycling!
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.”
“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.
What are the latest trends in this technology?
The latest trends and technology in resource recovery centre developments 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% from a modern resource recovery centre. 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.
See our blog that discusses how we can recycle up to 90% from general solid waste bins currently in Sydney.
Where can you fine major resource recovery centres throughout Australia:
– Darebin Resource Recovery Centre – see details here
– Buderim Resource Recovery Centre – see details here
– Bolinda Road Resource Recovery Centre – see details here
– Adelaide Resource Recovery Centre – see details here
– Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre – see details here
– Nudgee Resource Recover Centre – see details here
– Geelong Resource Recovery Centre – see details here
– Willawong Resource Recovery Centre – see details here
– Port Phillip Resource Recovery Centre – see details here
– Ferny Grove Resource Recovery Centre – see details here
What is resource recovery?
Resource Recovery: One of the most common buzz words in the waste collection and recycling industry is resource recovery.
You sometimes may be suspect and think it a throw away term (pardon the pun) – but it really does reflect the approach of modern waste management, where companies are trying to reduce any dumping at landfill and save money through the valuable resources contained in bins.
With ever increasing landfill levies on dumping in general waste – i.e. at landfill – it makes all the sense in the world to remove as much value – from trash as possible.
At the end of the day – why pay to dump rubbish – when in theory – some of it is valuable – and could be stripped out from general waste bins – and be recycled or sold on.
We will cover some of the modern trends in this regard as below.
Is there really valuable resources – that could be recovered – in a normal bin?
The simple answer is yes.
If you think about what is contained in the average bin – there is a large proportion of valuable commodities such as metal, cardboard, plastic etc that can be recycled and sold for profit. All that is needed is the system of resource recovery or recycling facilities to filter the bin contents.
Waster offers low cost and high quality waste and recycling services to small and medium Australian businesses, through our online model. Check out our options and costs online today. Check out our pricing by clicking the blue banners at the top of bottom of this page.
So what can be valuable in a normal bin?
At one extreme – there probably is actually some very valuable things – thrown out by accident – like gold, money etc. For example – often you see newspaper reports about engagement rings being thrown away – like this one!
Obviously – that is an extreme example – but there is lots of value in your bin – and with true resource recover – it will increase all the time. Items as below:
Aluminium cans – such as for soft drinks – are valuable and can be easily recycled.
Cardboard – can be traded on international exchanges.
Food waste – can be used to produce biogas – to power cities. In fact – some people see food wase facilities as being the power stations of the future.
Timber – that can be used for mulch or compost.
Even plastic – can be recycled – or incinerated in a modern facility to produce energy – such as in Sweden or Japan. Obviously – recycling needs to be separated – see our blog on how barcodes can help.
Resource recovery – all that is lacking is the facility – and of course the money!
In many instances – even though we have Government backed resource recovery plans and strategies – we often lack the required facilities.
We raise billions in landfill levies – but we do not seem to have many new advanced facilities – for services like nappy recycling.
These are required for true and effective resource recovery in Australia.
Thankfully – alternative funding for new resource recovery is coming on stream globally in 2019 and 2020.
The technology to separate the commodities is already existing – the finance to build the resource recovery facilities has been the issue to date. An interesting article in Fortune magazine explains how investment funds are now looking at the sector. We quote from the article below:
“By this time next year a major high-tech recycling plant in Baltimore could be sorting 54,000 tons of recycled plastic materials—yogurt cups, milk cartons, plastic soda bottles— annually and servicing a 500-mile radius area across the East Coast. It will be one of the largest of its kind in the U.S.”
“The Baltimore recycling plant is one of the first projects funded by a new group called Closed Loop Fund. It has amassed $100 million from ten of the largest U.S. consumer goods companies including Walmart, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, 3M, and Goldman Sachs.”
“The fund uses its checkbook to provide zero interest loans to cities and companies that want to build new recycling centers and projects.”
“Last year, Kaplan, Walmart’s former director of sustainability, and Ron Gonen, Mayor Bloomberg’s former New York City deputy commissioner of recycling and sustainability, founded the fund.”
“The challenge for the fund will be to pick projects that have the biggest potential impact. The recycling projects need to make money, and pay back the loans, but they also need to be large enough to make a dent in the waste stream. It could be a tricky balance.”
“But if the model is successful, it could provide a brand new way to encourage large-scale recycling.”
This looks like a very promising project and we look forward to seeing similar in recycling in Australia – particularly in regional cities (away from state capitals) where building a recycling centre can be difficult from a financial perspective.
Check out our blog on the future of resource recovery in general rubbish removal.
Our latest blog is on the new resource recovery Queensland program giving a rebate on recycled cans and containers.
Impact of national resource recovery on the environment
National Resource Recovery: the Easter holidays this year (2018) enjoyed some amazing weather and sunshine in Sydney.
Mr Waster took advantage of the warm weather to visit the beach with his family. When the sun shines – there is nowhere on earth better than the Australian coastline.
I also saw a very interesting TV show on Four Corners over the long weekend -looking at the growing issues of plastic waste in our oceans and the terrible impact it has on ocean and sea life.
Waster is an Australian waste management and recycling business with a difference.
We enable small and medium businesses to reduce their spend, whilst boosting recycling and helping the environment – all with the flexibility of 30 day agreements (so you are not locked in to a long term contract).
National resource recovery – recognising issue before it can be solved
The Four Corners programme really hit home the importance of the issue for national resource recovery. At the end of the day – if we do not recognise the problem, we will not be able to solve it.
We all have our part to play – by reducing plastic going in to our seas and then removing it once it is there.
You can see more on the problem here.
We quote some of the provocative statements from the programme notes here:
““We quantified and estimated that 8 million metric tonnes of plastic entered the ocean (in one year).” Environmental Engineer
“Submarine pilots know when they are at the bottom of the sea because they see the plastic.” Environmental Scientist
Four Corners brings you this thought provoking story from French filmmaker Vincent Perazio in which he examines the work of these scientists investigating our plastic waste.
Some are undertaking research to see if plastic is making its way into the food chain, others are looking into the impact on marine life and the environment.
“It’s not worth throwing away plastic bags. You should just season them well and eat them directly because they’re going to end up back on your plate in one way or another.” Marine Scientist
“Once there is so much plastic in the seas, there is nothing to eat for the filter feeders, for the fish, for the whales.” Oceanographer
As a species – we tend to follow the mantra – “out of sight, out of mind”. However, there are lots of great options available now for recycle bottles and cans – see our blogs on recycling in Australia and environmental companies.
Also see our blog on biodegradable plastic bags in commercial bins.
Note: Coca Cola recently announced they would be boosting the recycling plastic component of their drinks bottles.
Our oceans are so vital for the future of the planet and of course in Australia – 90% of us live within a short drive of one!
Plastic pollution is a serious threat to ocean life – and our way of life also. See our blog on building a green company.
Check out the short cartoon below showing how much plastic is in the ocean – the figures will amaze you: