MSW Management :: Transforming the Middleman

Changing the Way Waste and Recyclables are Handled

Transfer stations and material recovery facilities (MRFs) are the middleman when it comes to managing the country’s discards. Although they primarily handle different materials—one comprising waste materials, the other potential commodities—both are vital in improving how waste and recyclables are managed.

Transfer stations, in one form or another, have been around since the 1940s, with many operating more to comply with environmental and health and safety regulations than to turn a profit. But that’s no longer the case. With the bottom line now taking a front seat alongside more stringent environmental regulations, citizen concern and public awareness, and a strong recycling market, the same old approach to materials handling just doesn’t fly anymore.

Changes to both transfer stations and MRFs are coming in the form of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of recycling operations, incorporating flexibility and durability into facility construction, and selecting equipment based only on the initial purchase price but also on the long-term life cycle costs. Renovations and new construction design are based on decades of data on material and waste handling and technological advances from other markets, bringing solid waste and recyclable operations into an exciting, maybe even sexy, era.

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