Easy Solution for Managing Your MRF: MRF Management Software

MRF Management | 5 min Read
MRF Management Software

A materials recovery facility (MRF, also known as a materials reclamation facility or materials recycling facility, pronounced “murf“), is a plant where recyclable municipal solid wastes are separated and prepared to be sold to end-buyers. In the United States, MRF recycling started in the 1970s, but that number has since grown to more than 300 as of 2018. Because of its sheer magnitude, managing a MRF is not an easy task, but it is nothing a MRF management software cannot handle.

Dirty MRF & Clean MRF

First, let’s start with the types of MRFs. Typically, there are two of them: dirty MRFs and clean MRFs.

Dirty MRF / Mixed-Waste Processing Facility (MWPF)

Dirty MRFs process all kinds of municipal waste, which includes recyclable as well as non-recyclable and hazardous materials. They then separate the recyclable materials through manual and mechanical sorting. Overall, dirty MRFs recycle more materials than clean MRFs, but they cost more to run because of the increased need for manual labor to remove unwanted materials (i.e. non-recyclables, hazardous items, plastic bags). Also, paper and cardboard (OOC), especially, often get contaminated — so, even if they are recycled, they cannot be reused.

Clean MRF

Clean MRFs only process recyclables that are collected from homes and businesses that are already separated from solid waste. They usually use single-stream recycling (where all paper, plastic, metal, glass, and cardboard wastes are mixed in a collection truck or the recycling container). Clean MRFs recycle more materials than dirty MRFs, but a considerable portion of those recycled materials are unusable because of contamination during their time mixed with other materials in the truck/container.

A third, relatively newer MRF type is Wet MRF, where water is added to dirty MRF materials. It helps densify, separate, and clean recycling streams. Additionally, the water also hydrocrushes and dissolves biodegradable organics to get them ready to enter an anaerobic digestion facility.

Dirty MRF & Clean MRF

How Does a MRF Operate?

Separating and sorting recyclables is complicated work, but here is a brief run-down of what goes on inside a (dirty) MRF:

  1. First and foremost, collection trucks carrying all kinds of waste drop off their load onto a recovery facility,
  2. Then the materials are placed onto conveyor belts and moved to the pre-sorting station, where non-recyclable, hazardous items (e.g. lithium batteries, propane tanks, and aerosol cans), and materials like plastic bags and hoses that can entangle the recycling equipment are removed and sent to a landfill or an incinerator,
  3. The remaining items continue on the conveyor belts, then cardboards are separated from smaller items like cans, jars, paper, and bottles,
  4. Papers are separated from the waste stream with a blower, and from now on, they are manually overseen along with cardboards to ensure no plastic, metal, or glass is present,
  5. Metals are separated from plastics and glass with electromagnets (for ferrous metals) or eddy current separators (for non-ferrous metals like aluminum),
  6. Glasses are crushed into cullets for ease of transportation,
  7. Plastics are separated by polymer type using infrared technology (optical sorting); MRFs usually only collect a few polymers of plastic, and send the rest to landfills or incinerators,
  8. Finally, the separated materials are baled and sent to the shipping dock of the facility to be sold to manufacturers that will then recycle them to be reused again.

How Can Evreka Help?

At Evreka, our customers are our main priority. So, we prepared a software that is specifically designed for MRF waste management. With this software, you will be able to:

  • Manage, monitor, and control every step of your operations,
  • Effortlessly keep a track of your inventory,
  • Manage your expenses to boost your profits,
  • Reduce your total managerial time spent, and do so much more!

Click here to find out more about our MRF Management Software, or check out our other software or hardware solutions!


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