CSWD Materials Recovery Facility (MRF)
Location: 357 Avenue C, Williston, VT 05495
Hours: Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Certain holidays may affect hours of operation.
Phone: (802) 651-5481
About the Materials Recovery Facility
The Materials Recovery Facility, or MRF (rhymes with “smurf”), is where large loads of blue bin recycling are sorted and prepared for market. The MRF is owned by Chittenden Solid Waste District and operated under contract by Casella Waste Management. Although primarily used by licensed commercial haulers, the MRF also accepts large loads from residents and businesses who want to haul recyclables themselves (minimum 1 cubic yard).
Commercial haulers must have a current CSWD Hauler License to bring materials to the MRF.
How the MRF works
The MRF is engineered to mechanically separate bottles, cans and other containers from mixed paper and cardboard. After the initial sort, workers manually separate recyclables (with the exception of glass) into different material types. After sorting, like materials are compacted into bales and shipped to market to be made into recycled products.
Glass is crushed to create aggregate that’s available for no charge for civil engineering applications such as sub-base layers, utility trench bedding, or backfill/drainage applications.
Tours of the MRF
MRF tours are offered April through November. Please see our Tours page for more details or to request a private tour.
Don’t miss our periodic offerings for tours available to the general public: Sign up for the CSWD Digest, our monthly email newsletter.
Learn more about the recycling process in this behind-the-scenes MRF video.
Produced in 2015 by CSWD with support from the Regional Education Television Network (RETN).
How the MRF is funded
MRF expenses & revenues
Operating & program expenses
(tip fees: $993,529 +
sale of recyclables: $2,373,998)
Revenues exceeding expenses are transferred to Facilities Improvement Reserve.
When mixed recyclables are brought to the MRF, they are separated and prepared to be sold as commodities in the global marketplace. We use earnings from these recyclables to help maintain and operate the recycling program.
Another funding source is our tipping fee. This is what we charge haulers by the ton for “tipping” their truckloads of recyclables into our MRF. While we have no control over how much we earn from our recyclables in the global commodities market, we are able to change the tipping fee to balance out our cash flow, ensuring financial viability even when the markets are less favorable. When we can, we share surplus revenues with haulers by reducing or eliminating our tipping fee. When the markets have been really high, we actually have paid haulers for the material.
Average cost per household (FY16)
(Note: customer numbers vary over time.)
Recycling is not free. There are costs that must be borne by haulers who bring us the recyclables they pick up from their curbside customers (trucks, fuel, personnel, equipment, etc.), and it costs CSWD money to build, maintain, and operate the facility and programs, and to transport those recyclables to the global markets that purchase them from us.