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What is a Municipal Recycling Facility (MRF)?

May 30, 2016

A Municipal Recycling Facility (MRF) is a location where waste is taken to be separated and processed before being sold to manufacturers for reuse. Households leave recyclable refuse out on the curb for collection. This waste is picked up by trucks which deliver the recyclable waste to the MRF for separation and processing. Depending on the system of streams used by the community-recycling program, the waste may be grouped to one stream or more though two streams are the most common in a multi-stream system.

Once at the MRF, the waste is placed on conveyors to allow for a constant and controlled flow of the material being processed. The waste is then separated into groups based on their material – paper, plastics, glass, and aluminum/metals – both electronically and manually to ensure accuracy. After separation, these materials are sold to manufacturers or processors where they are used to make new products that will be resoled in stores.

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Other Sources

County of Fairfax. “What is a Materials Recovery Facility?” Fairfax County. 2016. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/recycling/mrfintro.htm. Accessed May 9, 2016.

Veolia. “The Process.” Veolia. 2016. http://www.veolia.co.uk/hampshire/materials-recovery/materials-recovery/how-does-it-work. Accessed May 9, 2016.