Region of Durham Works Department hosts official opening of its new Material Recovery Facility

    WHITBY, ON, Dec. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - The Regional Municipality of Durham
today hosted the official opening of its new Material Recovery Facility (MRF),
located at 4590 Gerrard Road in Whitby. This state-of-the-art facility, which
offers the capacity to process up to 110,000 tonnes of recyclable materials
each year, was made possible as a result of $14.8 million in funding through
the federal Gas Tax Fund.
    "As part of its Building Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of
Canada is investing in priority infrastructure initiatives that support a
cleaner environment, a stronger economy and a better quality of life," said
the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Honourable
Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities.
"Durham Region is a leader when it comes to recycling and this new facility
will make the process more efficient and more effective for this fast growing
    "Across Ontario, the federal gas tax fund is providing municipalities
with stable and predictable funding for hundreds of infrastructure projects
that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and better protect our air and water,"
said Doug Reycraft, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.
    The new MRF, which will replace the current Recycling Centre on Gerrard
Road, was designed to keep up with the expected tonnage increases from the
residential sector during the next 10 to 15 years. As part of a two-stream
process to keep fibres and containers separate, the new MRF uses
dual-functioning optical sorters to further separate plastic bottles and
containers from the stream. These optical sorters, which are the first of
their kind in Canada, will increase the quality of processed plastics by
offering a recovery rate of about 98 per cent of all recyclables received,
decreasing the number of recyclables rejected due to contamination.
    "Durham residents have proven their firm commitment to waste diversion
programs, as demonstrated by their enthusiastic adoption of our Blue Box and
Green Bin programs," said Regional Chair Roger Anderson. "This new
'state-of-the-art' facility provides the opportunity to build on that success.
It will allow us to improve our recovery rates and meet our diversion targets,
while matching the needs of our growing population."
    The new MRF will allow recyclables to be sorted at about 1.7 tonnes per
hour, which is expected to reduce processing costs by approximately $2 million
each year.
    "The new facility will be operated in the most efficient and
cost-effective manner possible, which will allow the Region to generate
maximum revenue from the recyclables marketed and sold," said Cliff Curtis,
Commissioner of the Region's Works Department. "During the first 12 months of
operation, the Region expects to process more than 50,000 tonnes from the
curbside recycling programs."
    The Region of Durham maintains ownership of the site, with a private
contractor operating the facility. The completion of this new facility is a
significant accomplishment for the Region, as it strives to continuously
improve its waste management operations to better serve the residents of
Durham Region.

For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries: Regional Municipality of
Durham: Sherri Munns-Audet, Director, Corporate Communications, (905) 668-7711
ext. 2068; Tania Laverty, Corporate Communications Officer, (905) 668-7711
ext. 3813

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