Material Recovery Facility (MRF)

NAWMA’s Material Recovery Facility (MRF) was opened in 2017 and is a credit to the NAWMA Technical Working Group, Board and Constituent Councils. It is one of only two large-scale MRFs operating in South Australia, and the only one owned and operated by local government. It has been designed to future-proof NAWMA, and more broadly South Australia, and has doubled South Australia’s recyclables processing capacity.

Importantly, the MRF provided more than 40 full-time jobs in Northern Adelaide at the same time as Holden closed its doors.

Economically, the MRF provides a revenue stream for NAWMA’s Constituent Councils, while reducing exposure to the often-fickle commercial recycling industry. A two shift, five workday operation processes the current 60,000 tonnes per annum collected from yellow-lid kerbside bins in NAWMA’s Constituent Councils and other metro, rural and regional councils.

Housed inside a large purpose-modified industrial building of some 3,800 sqm, the MRF is a combination of trommels, magnets, eddy-currents, ballistic separators, and manual picking stations, fed by over half a kilometre of conveyor belts. As of May 2020, around 130,000 tonnes of material has been sorted at the MRF since August 2017.  High quality secondary raw materials (finished goods) recovered at the MRF, including paper, plastics, glass, aluminium and steel, are predominantly marketed locally in Australia as well as internationally.

NAWMA processes kerbside recycling from a range of client councils in addition to our member councils. Click on the PDF link below to see where these councils are located.

In 2018, the NAWMA MRF won the Local Government Professionals Australia SA, Excellence in Environmental Leadership and Sustainability award. For details on how you can do a free tour of NAWMA’s facilities including the MRF, follow this link.

Download a diagram of how the MRF works here.

NAWMA uses Green Industries SA grant to expand MRF operation and establish new market for recovered paper in Australia.