Materials Recovery Facility  (MRF)

Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) is a specialized plant that receives, separates and prepares recyclable materials for sale to end-user manufacturers. It is important that the materials which come out of the MRF are clean, properly sorted and relatively free of impurities.

The materials recovery facility, is a key component of Residential & commercial single-stream recycling programs. It’s a facility that receives commingled materials and then uses a combination of equipment and manual labour to separate and densify materials in preparation for shipment downstream to recyclers of particular materials recovered. Typical materials recovered at MRFs include ferrous metal, aluminium, PET, HDPE, and mixed paper.

Generally there are different Two types of MRFs

  1. 1. Clean MRFs
  2. 2. Dirty (Mixed/Wet Waste) MRFs

Clean MRFs

A clean MRF accepts recyclable commingled materials that have already been separated at the source from Municipal Solid Waste generated by either residential or commercial sources.

There are a variety of clean MRFs. The most common are {Single Stream} where all recyclable material is mixed, or dual stream MRFs, where source-separated recyclables are delivered in a mixed container stream (typically glass, ferrous metal, aluminium, and other non-ferrous metals, PET and HDPE plastics) and a mixed paper stream including corrugated cardboard boxes, newspapers, magazines, office paper etc…, Material is sorted to specifications, then baled, shredded, crushed, compacted, or otherwise prepared for shipment to market.

Single-stream (also known as “fully commingled” or "single-sort") recycling refers to a system in which all papers, fiber’s, plastics, metals, and other containers are mixed in a collection truck, instead of being sorted separately by the depositor. In single-stream, both the collection and processing systems are designed to handle this fully commingled mixture of recyclables, with materials being separated for reuse at (MRF) facility.

Mixed-waste MRFs

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. A dirty MRF recovers between 5% and 45% of the incoming material as recyclables, then the remainder is land filled or otherwise disposed. A dirty MRF can be capable of higher recovery rates than a clean MRF, since it ensures that 100% of the waste stream.

Wet-waste MRFs

Technologies were beginning to utilise wet MRFs. These combine a dirty MRF with water, which acts to densify, separate and clean the output streams. It also hydro crushes and separates biodegradable organics materials to make them suitable for anaerobic digestion. (COMPOSTING

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