Resource Recycling News

Recology upgrades MRF serving Northern California

Recology’s newest MRF in California has seven optical sorters, an eddy current separator, drum magnet and 109 conveyor belts. | Courtesy of Recology

A $35 million materials recovery facility that opened this week in Sonoma County promises to more than double the processing capacity of the sorting center it is replacing.

Regional hauler and MRF operator Recology started up the Santa Rosa, California MRF on Jan. 29, capping a 10-month construction process that totaled $35 million. The facility, which replaces an older MRF serving the region, is receiving recyclables from 13 communities in Marin and Sonoma counties.

Outfitted by equipment supplier Machinex, the Recology MRF includes seven optical sorters, an eddy current separator, drum magnet and 109 conveyor belts. It also employs a contingent of workers doing manual sortation on the conveyor lines. Recology says the facility can process 400 tons of recyclables per day, up from the 150-ton-per-day capacity of the previous MRF. In the company’s 2023 sustainability report, it projected the equipment would result in a 60,000-ton increase in annual processing capacity at the Santa Rosa facility.

In a statement, Machinex CEO Chris Hawn described the MRF as “one of the highest capacity recovery systems on the West Coast.”

Additionally, Recology anticipates its new MRF will be able to recover a higher percentage of the recyclables it processes – 85% – compared to 75% with the technology at the previous facility.

The facility, which totals 85,000 square feet, is one of a dozen owned and operated by Recology. All told, the company handled 677,000 short tons of recyclables in its 2022 fiscal year, according to the latest figures the company has released.

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