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.
First, let’s start with the types of MRFs. Typically, there are two of them: dirty MRFs and clean MRFs.
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 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.
Separating and sorting recyclables is complicated work, but here is a brief run-down of what goes on inside a (dirty) MRF:
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:
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