Facility designed and supplied by Van Dyk Recycling Solutions of Norwalk, CT
Groundbreaking project will see two Connecticut-based companies partner to build one of North America’s largest and most technologically advanced recycling systems
Berlin, CT – Two Connecticut companies today announced a groundbreaking $30 million investment to build one of North America’s largest and most technologically advanced recycling facilities – the All American Material Recovery Facility (MRF) – in the Town of Berlin. The All American MRF’s capabilities will set a new standard for recycling facilities throughout the country.
The All American MRF will be owned and operated by Connecticut-based Murphy Road Recycling. The design of the facility and the supply of the system’s equipment will be provided by Norwalk-based Van Dyk Recycling Solutions. The system will be operational by early 2022 and will employ 200 people during the construction phase and another 50 people when fully operational. Once online, it will be capable of processing 50+ tons of recyclable material per hour, with a projected annual capacity of at least 200,000 tons, providing the State a critical resource to reach its 60% waste disposal diversion goal.
“Murphy Road Recycling and Van Dyk Recycling Solutions are proud of their deep roots in Connecticut, and we are excited to leverage our local knowledge and industry-leading expertise to modernize and transform recycling in our home state,” said Frank Antonacci of Murphy Road Recycling.
Murphy Road Recycling approached Van Dyk Recycling Solutions over a year ago to help it deliver on its vision for a new MRF that would accomplish three primary goals: 1) increase the quantity, quality, and purity of recyclables; 2) provide an innovative and safe working environment; and 3) have the flexibility to adapt to ever-evolving consumer habits and recycling market conditions. Murphy Road Recycling and Van Dyk believe the All American MRF will accomplish all three.
“We are pleased that Murphy Road Recycling has decided to expand their operations here in Berlin. They have been a great asset in town and we are thrilled that they are making such a large investment in Berlin including the creation of additional jobs,” stated Berlin Mayor Mark Kaczynski.
Van Dyk is the leading supplier of recycling equipment to MRFs in North America. To guarantee customers such as Murphy Road Recycling as much uptime as possible, Van Dyk keeps a large inventory of critical spare parts for its machinery readily available at its Norwalk headquarters. Additionally, they have on location the largest R&D center in the world for testing the separation of recyclables.
“This state of the art facility, that will set the standard for recycling facilities, is a win for the town of Berlin, the state of Connecticut, and the nation. I want to thank Murphy Road Recycling and Van Dyk Recycling Solutions for working to make this exciting announcement a reality. It is important now more than ever to invest in green technologies and this project is big step forward the battle against climate change,” said Congressman John B. Larson.
Murphy Road Recycling strives to increase the quality and purity of recycled materials in Connecticut and find real and sustainable end markets for these materials. Getting curbside material to a saleable quality takes considerable investment by a MRF. With curbside recycling participation at an all-time high and commodity prices still rebounding from the implementation of China’s National Sword, MRFs need to improve technology to process large amounts of materials and produce high, pure-quality recovered products.
“Today’s curbside material isn’t what it was 10-15 years ago,” explained Jonathan Murray, Director of Operations for Murphy Road Recycling. “It was heavy on newspaper and relatively clean. Today, everyone reads news online and orders everything from the internet. Today’s stream is full of small cardboard boxes and shipping envelopes, and requires that we, as recyclers, innovate and change our thinking around the sorting of recyclables.”
This type of change in material stream is so widely experienced by players across the recycling industry that there is an insider term for it: the “Amazon Effect.”
“We want to ensure that the recyclables Connecticut residents put out to the curb will make it to an end market for reuse,” continued Antonacci.
The All American MRF will feature the latest technology available from world-renowned manufacturers in recycling equipment. The fully integrated system, replete with artificial intelligence, will be dedicated to the maximum recovery of all recyclable material, with several second chance mechanisms in place to make sure valuable material does not slip through the cracks. The design includes state of the art equipment to target paper, cardboard, boxboard, glass, and five types of plastic.
“This facility will include cutting-edge technology and safety measures that will be the new industry gold standard; not just in Connecticut but across the country,” explained Pieter Van Dijk, CEO of Van Dyk Recycling Solutions.
Not only will this new technology produce higher quality recyclables, it will also help keep Murphy Road Recycling’s employees safer. The All American MRF’s “mono-level structure” and heightened focus on automation will create the innovative and safe working environment that Murphy Road Recycling was seeking.
“The health and safety of our employees is our number one concern at Murphy Road Recycling,” said Antonacci. “That is why we invested heavily in automation to further increase the safety and productivity of the facility. We are retraining employees for positions to operate and maintain the optical sorter and other equipment, which are higher-skilled, higher-wage positions.”
Murphy Road Recycling believes that its All American MRF will usher in a new era for Connecticut recycling and will be flexible enough to adjust to changing consumer habits and future recycling market conditions further solidifying Connecticut’s position as a top 10 state in recycling for years to come.
“It will employ an unprecedented eleven optical scanners which can identify, and separate materials based on their chemical composition and will utilize robotics and artificial intelligence to perform additional quality control on the final mixed-paper line before baling. As material trends change over time, these machines can simply be reprogrammed to adapt and prevent the system from aging out,” says Van Dijk.
“The All American MRF is built to solve the recycling challenges of today, while investing in breakthrough technologies to address the ever-evolving recycling stream of tomorrow,” states Antonacci.
Learn more at https://youtu.be/bh5pd45rb1Y
About Murphy Road Recycling
Murphy Road Recycling is part of a family-owned and operated team of subsidiaries and affiliates that have become one of the most reliable and innovative independent recycling and waste management companies in New England. In 2021, these companies were named one of the Best Places to Work in Connecticut by the Hartford Business Journal. Headquartered in Enfield, Connecticut, the companies and their affiliates service Connecticut and western Massachusetts, proudly employ dedicated team members across both states, and own and operate facilities throughout their service areas.
About Van Dyk Recycling Solutions
Since 1984, Van Dyk Recycling Solutions, based in Norwalk, CT, has supplied North American recyclers and waste processors with recycling sorting systems and baling equipment. Van Dyk has designed systems and retrofits for the last decade to help their customers address contamination issues by incorporating new technology and sorting strategies. Van Dyk has developed systems with proven designs for several of North America’s largest cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. Van Dyk has built MRFs that have won the NWRA’s (National Waste and Recycling Association) Best Recycling Facility of the Year award in 2017, 2019, and 2020.