August 18, 2020

Two Ontario Material Recovery Facilities undergo extensive upgrades

Two Ontario Material Recovery Facilities undergo extensive upgrades

In 2019, Emterra Environmental entered the Peterborough, ON market, for the first time. We began a seven-year contract with both the County and City of Peterborough for curbside recycling collection and materials processing and commodities marketing. As part of our partnership with these municipalities, Emterra retrofitted the City's Material Recovery Facility (MRF) with new state-of-the-art and energy-efficient recyclables processing equipment and upgraded the building.

Emterra took over the building on November 1, 2019, and on Monday, March 2, 2020, we pushed the start button for the first time on this newly retrofitted MRF!

David Deem is the Senior Operations Manager for Emterra Environmental at this location and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of this MRF. According to David, the upgrades to this facility were extensive. “The previous equipment was not as efficient and effective as we needed it to be to capture recyclables and process them into high-value commodities, so we basically re-built the plant from the ground up. Essentially, we have a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility.”

When in conversation with David, he highlighted that some of the upgrades included new high-efficiency equipment for sorting and separating the different streams of recyclables. Emterra replaced the plant floor and installed new energy-efficient lighting and sprinklers in both the office space and the plant.

“We are leading-edge right now in terms of processing and capturing recyclable material in Ontario,” adds David. “It’s pretty cool to have something so advanced. It is both rewarding and challenging as issues are the first of their kind.”

The upgrades to this dual-stream MRF required a significant capital investment from Emterra. This new MRF can process twice what the previous system could handle and utilizes new near-infrared sorting technology, ballistic separators, magnets and sorting screens to recover various types of recyclables. The Peterborough MRF also employees 16 people.

Three hours north of Peterborough, Emterra also entered the market in Renfrew County. The MRF in this county had been mothballed as the previous owner had gone bankrupt. Emterra saw this as an opportunity to grow our business and to reignite a recycling program in Renfrew and Lanark counties – which, when combined, account for 28 different municipalities.

Emterra assumed ownership of the MRF in November 2019 and began upgrading the facility right away. To date, the majority of the upgrades have centred around automating the sorting process and making the facility more efficient, effective and safe.

“We have only just begun with our improvements,” explains Joseph Hall, District Manager. “It will be a greener and more modern MRF then it was before, and we have plans to improve our facility even more over the next year.”

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