You have heard it before: Blue Box program operators need to know exactly what is in their Material Recycling Facility (MRF) materials, including what type and how much of each material is going into and out of the facility where recyclables are processed.
Without this information, it isn’t possible to know if you are losing revenue to residue or cross contamination; if you are getting all the diversion you pay for and/or if you are being charged too much for residue. Ever wonder if you are using losing valuable material to theft or mislabelling? These are all important questions to answer.
A new resource for recycling program operators
If you do not already have this information, you can start with CIF Center of Excellence’s MRF Audit Guide: Material Streams Composition (from CIF Project 803) to learn the secrets.
Good quality audits are a vital tool for municipalities to measure the performance of their recycling program and gather relevant data to plan and implement continuous improvement, P&E and curbside collection contract performance enforcement. This document provides guidance on planning and conducting composition studies (audits) on inbound (feedstock), residue and outbound material specific sorted commodities. It can be considered essential reading for all programs that contract with privately operated MRFs to process recyclables.
Included in the Guide…
Procedures outlined in this document cover sampling, sorting, safety and much more for audits of Blue Box recyclables received at your own MRF or at a contracted (third party/private sector) MRF.
These procedures can be applied to all recycling program types (e.g. single, dual or multi-stream) and from all generating sectors including: single and multi-family, depots and Industrial, Commercial & Institutional (ICI).
Here’s how it can be most useful…
The MRF Audit Guide can be used as a reference or inserted as an appendix into RFP and Tender documents for any municipality that’s establishing a new processing contract. Terms in the contract will permit a municipality to enter and audit the materials at the MRF and the guide will set out the general procedures for conducting the audits.
Bottom line… if you don’t know them yet, you need to learn the secrets of the MRF to reduce your program costs. This is your starting point.
Contact CIF Staff
The MRF Audit Guide has been developed as part CIF’s ongoing commitment to provide toolkits and technical support under the Center of Excellence. CIF staff are always ready to help. We encourage you to contact any member of the team to discuss your issues and questions.