Perth Materials Recovery Facility (MRF)

The most advanced resource recovery facility in the Southern Hemisphere

As the first to introduce the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) to Western Australia in 1988, Cleanaway continues to be in the forefront of advancements in resource recovery.

In May 2017, Cleanaway once again became the new standard of excellence for resource recovery in the country with the Perth MRF. It can process 50-tonne-per-hour single stream, designed to address Perth’s recycling needs for years to come. The facility opened the door to commercial customers by giving businesses the ability to recycle the way households do.

In May 2021, the Perth MRF was reopened after extensive redevelopment and new fire safety improvements following a catastrophic fire in November 2019. Measures include aspirated fire smoke detection systems, automatic inground stormwater isolation valves, and fire tanks with a combined capacity of 1.24 million litres.

The Perth MRF uses highly advanced sorting technology that can separate recycling into eight specific waste streams instead of the usual three or four. Our state-of-the-art optical sorters allow us to recover up to 97% of all materials received. This eliminates the need for businesses to separate their recycling into specific streams without compromise to materials quality.

Key features

Annually the Perth MRF efficiently processes:

  • 53,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard
  • 7,300 tonnes of plastic
  • And 1,000 tonnes of aluminium and metals

The Perth MRF’s BHS Tri-Disc screens are the core of the sorting process where optical sorters are employed in recovery and quality control applications. Here ColorPlus-R optical sorters analyse the colour of opaque objects and remove small cardboards. To achieve Cleanaway’s standard of more than 97% recovery of plastic containers while meeting purity rates in excess of 98.5%, our optical units target fibre and polymers to produce polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and mixed plastics streams.

The Perth MRF recovery process features:

  • Old Corrugated Cardboard (OCC) Screen, which separates large firm cardboards into a conveyor belt for quality control
  • Debris Roll Screen, which catches smaller materials and crushes large volumes of glass
  • Newsort Screen, which identifies bottles, cans, and other containers and sends them to a different stream
  • Nihot, or air jets that separate paper and lawn clippings from glass, which is further broken down into grains
  • Steel Magnets that attract steel cans and containers and release them to storage
  • Plastic Optical Sorters, a combination of lasers and air jets that identify specific plastic types—PET, HDPE and mixed plastic—and sends them to storage
  • Eddy Current, which separates aluminium to a conveyor belt

Once the recovered materials are segregated to their respective storage bunkers, they are baled into cubes, ready to be shipped to buyers who will create new products out of them.

Industries served
Commercial & Industrial
Waste streams
Hard plastic

How we do it

Waste is first collected by recycling trucks from your kerbside and is checked by our truck driver if only recyclables are in the kerbside bins. Once the waste materials are sent to the MRF, they are manually pre-sorted to remove any potential contaminants. They then go through conveyor belts facilitated by top-notch sorting technology.

Cleanaway makes sure that everything is sorted accordingly using optical sensors, filtering systems, and air jets. Recovered materials are effectively separated into eight waste streams—newspaper, mixed paper, cardboard, glass, aluminium, steel, HDPE plastic and PET plastic. These are then baled, stored, and packed into shipping containers for industrial recyclers.

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