our community benefits throughout the country
With dwindling landfill capacity, incinerators rusting out, and rapidly escalating disposal costs, North America urgently needs a new generation of climate and environment-friendly residual municipal solid waste management infrastructure. ICF’s advanced Material Recovery Facilities will replace landfills and incinerators, delivering greater recovery of recyclable raw materials, useful energy, and positive climate impacts.
ICF’s MRFs, while employing some of the same technologies, are much different from the ones designed to handle “blue bin” source-separated recyclables. Our MRFs are specifically designed to manage “black bag” residual MSW that would otherwise be landfilled or incinerated. This is a compliment to, not a substitute for, traditional “blue bin” recycling, and is designed to manage the commingled and contaminated residual volumes that the source-separated blue bin system cannot utilize.
The interior of the MRF is kept at negative air pressure, containing odors within the structure. All air from the interior of the facility (particularly the biodrying chamber) is processed through a 100% natural biofilter that requires no synthetic chemicals. The biofilter uses microbes that metabolize up to 99.5% of organic and inorganic substances and transforms odorous compounds into carbon dioxide and water vapor.
The remaining energy fraction recovered from ICF’s network of MRFs, referred to as Solid Recovered Fuel (“SRF”), gets shredded to a consistent particle size, dried, and then pelletized before being transported to the synthetic fuel plant. SRF is a high-quality alternative to fossil fuel that, in this case, has been processed to a consistent size and maximum BTU content. Note that the term SRF is used interchangeably with Refuse Derived Fuel, or RDF.
Again, ICF is a developer, not a technology innovator. There are over 570 advanced MRFs currently in operation throughout Europe. There are many reasons such technology has yet to be adopted in the U.S., the most obvious is money. Without monetizing the SRF, until recently, landfilling was simply far cheaper than processing MSW in an environmentally friendly fashion.