Monroe County will be processing its own recyclables in a matter of months. The County Council approved a budget September 17th that includes money to build a materials recovery facility, or MRF (“murf”). Officials at the County Solid Waste Management District have debated for years whether to build the facility. Currently the District pays a private company, Republic Services, to haul away its recyclables. But District Board President Steve Volan said it’s not always clear what happens to those materials.
Volan told the Council there is money to be made on recycling. He said the District just needs to build a facility to bail and store the materials.
The District’s budget only includes money for what is known as a cleanstream MRF. The facility will only process recyclables that are presorted. Debate continues about whether to add on a more complex and expensive function called a waste stream MRF. That kind of facility would actually remove recyclable material from the garbage. County Council President Geoff McKim said many people seem to be confused about the two different functions.
The Council later voted to approve the District’s budget, which also includes a 5% raise for District employees. Those employees have not had a raise since 2011.