Grafton, January 2024: Northumberland County's Material Recovery Facility (MRF) is a pivotal hub that sorts, recycles and markets reusable material generated by local businesses and residents. This January, Emterra Environmental, one of Canada's largest end-to-end recycling and environmental service organizations, owns and takes over operations at the facility.
"For over forty-five years, Emterra Environmental has been focused on a green and sustainable future," said Paulina Leung, Chief Sustainability Officer at Emterra Group. "We hope the local community welcomes the continued prominence of this facility as an essential local provider of service and jobs that help create a regenerative economy."
Situated along Highway 401, the MRF is a significant industrial operation that enables the surrounding businesses and residents to receive effective recycling services. The MRF's primary objective is to keep resources in continuous use, reduce the landfilling of resources, and provide efficient and effective services under the new producer responsibility regulatory regime in Ontario. The MRF acts as a receiving facility and sorting hub, using machinery and trained personnel to separate recyclable plastics, paper, glass, and metals.
Northumberland County stated that the sale of the MRF was part of provincial plans to transition to 'producer responsibility' between 2023 and 2026. The new producer responsibility regulation in Ontario means that companies that design, manufacture, and market products and packaging will now become fully responsible for managing and paying for the entire life cycle of these items.
Northumberland County will receive funds to continue promoting and educating residents, providing accessible support via telephone and web channels, facilitating curbside pickup of recyclable materials, and collecting and transferring recyclable materials at all County Community Recycling Centres (CRC).
Northumberland County's Blue Box collection program has been crucial in the region's waste management efforts. Over the past 26 years, the program has successfully diverted over 300,000 tonnes (660 million pounds) of recyclable materials from ending up in landfills.
The MRF, under the ownership of Emterra Environmental, will continue to provide local employment opportunities across various skill sets, from technicians and administrative roles to sorters, truck drivers and transportation professionals.
"The MRF isn't just a building; it symbolizes our collective dedication to a cleaner, healthier future," concluded Leung. "We look forward to working with the County, producers, and local communities to make the most of this valuable asset to deliver cost effective and efficient recycling services within a strong circular economy."