GFL wins facility of the year award

VAUGHAN, Ontario – GFL Environmental Inc. has been awarded the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) 2020 Recycling Facility of the Year for its Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The award recognizes leading recycling facilities in North America based on key factors such as innovation, sustainability and environmental impact.

The Winnipeg MRF, which began operating in October 2019, was commissioned by the City of Winnipeg to handle residential recycling with additional capabilities to support province-wide recycling programs and meet evolving demands. To meet Winnipeg’s needs, the goal of GFL’s technical MRF experts was to develop and implement an efficient, flexible and innovative system in order to manage potential shifts in material composition, maximize recovery rates and increase the value of recyclable commodities.

At 80,000 square feet, the MRF is comprised of approximately 90% automated and 10% manual sorting. On the automated side, the MRF system which is designed and manufactured by Machinex Industries Inc., houses an advanced fibre and plastic recovery system.

The facility includes a SamurAI fully automated sorting robot that uses sensors to distinguish recyclable materials at ultra-high speed. This artificially intelligent system is one of only a few in service across North America, with the capacity to learn, collect data and establish recycling patterns.

Despite current average contamination rates of approximately 15% for inbound materials, the Winnipeg MRF’s recovery rate is at approximately 90%. In 2020, it is projected that the facility will recover over 52,000 metric tons of material from sources across Manitoba, resulting in approximately 121,385 tonnes of CO2e emissions avoided or the equivalent of 2,316 passenger vehicles removed from the road annually.

The MRF includes an education centre offering tours and sessions to school groups and other members of the public to increase public awareness of the impact of contamination of recycling streams, improve recovery rates and increase diversion from landfill.

“We are honoured to be recognized as an innovator in our industry” said Patrick Dovigi, founder and CEO of GFL.

“ESG has always been a key focus for GFL and we remain committed to investing in innovative, sustainable and long-term solutions for waste diversion. Our partnership with the City of Winnipeg, combined with our state-of-the-art facility and best practice operators are further examples of this commitment.”