The Regional Municipality of Durham has opened its new material recovery facility (MRF), located in Whitby, Ontario.
This state-of-the-art facility offers the capacity to process up to 110,000 tonnes of recyclable materials each year and was made possible as a result of $14.8 million in funding through the federal Gas Tax Fund.
“Across Ontario, the federal gas tax fund is providing municipalities with stable and predictable funding for hundreds of infrastructure projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and better protect our air and water,” said Doug Reycraft, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.
The new MRF, which will replace the current recycling centre on Gerrard Road, was designed to keep up with the expected tonnage increases from the residential sector during the next 10 to 15 years. As part of a two-stream process to keep fibres and containers separate, the new MRF uses dual-functioning optical sorters to further separate plastic bottles and containers from the stream. These optical sorters, which are the first of their kind in Canada, will increase the quality of processed plastics by offering a recovery rate of about 98 per cent of all recyclables received, decreasing the number of recyclables rejected due to contamination.
The new MRF will allow recyclables to be sorted at about 1.7 tonnes per hour, which is expected to reduce processing costs by approximately $2 million each year.
During the first 12 months of operation, the Region expects to process more than 50,000 tonnes from the curbside recycling programs. The Region of Durham maintains ownership of the site, with a private contractor operating the facility.