World’s biggest MRF powers into action

The world's largest materials recovery facility (MRF) capable of processing 110 tonnes of recyclables an hour has opened in Newby Island Resource Recovery Park, California.

Facility operator US-based Republic Services says the plant sets a new standard for recycling facilities with the scale of its advanced processing ability – it has an annual throughput capacity of 420,000 tonnes.

It will process all commercial waste generated from more than 8,000 businesses in San José, California, with an 80% material recovery rate. The plant will also take recyclables from 85,000 households.

The facility was designed, manufactured and installed by Bulk Handling Systems. Its sales & marketing director Rich Reardon said: “In San José we are dealing with four distinct streams: organics, commercial dry waste, commercial single-stream, and residential single-stream.

“Reaching a level of 80% meant recovering commodities that have traditionally been discarded. Breaking down the material stream and supplying processes to address each fraction ensures recovery optimisation. Designing the entire process around this principle allowed us to help Republic Services meet its goal.”

San José has long led the way in the US when it comes to sustainability – in 2007 it adopted progressive diversion goals through its Green Vision initiative. Until now, the city’s commercial waste was managed by 20 different haulers and provided less than half of the businesses with recycling services.

This development follows the announcement that the world’s largest energy-from-waste gasification facility is set to open in Teeside in 2014.

Maxine Perella

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