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Murphy Road Recycling to build MRF in Berlin, Connecticut

The All American MRF will feature a system supplied by Van Dyk Recycling Solutions.

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Murphy Road Recycling, headquartered in Enfield, Connecticut, has announced that it will build a $30 million material recovery facility (MRF) in Berlin, Connecticut. The All American MRF will feature a processing system supplied by Van Dyk Recycling Solutions of Norwalk, Connecticut, that includes optical sorters as well as artificial intelligence and robotics.  

Murphy Road Recycling is part of a family-owned and operated team of subsidiaries and affiliates that provide recycling and waste management services to Connecticut and western Massachusetts.

The All American system will be operational by early 2022 and will employ 200 people during the construction phase and another 50 people when fully operational, according to a news release from Murphy Road Recycling. Once online, it will be capable of processing in excess of 50 tons of recyclables per hour, with a projected annual capacity of at least 200,000 tons, providing Connecticut with a critical resource to reach its 60 percent 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,” says Frank Antonacci of Murphy Road Recycling.

Murphy Road Recycling says it approached Van Dyk Recycling Solutions more than a year ago to help it deliver on its vision for a new MRF that would increase the quantity, quality and purity of recovered recyclables; provide an innovative and safe working environment; and have the flexibility to adapt to ever-evolving consumer habits and recycling market conditions. 

“Today’s curbside material isn’t what it was 10-15 years ago,” says 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.” 

The All American MRF will feature a fully integrated system that includes artificial intelligence and several second-chance mechanisms to ensure valuable material is recovered. The design includes equipment to target paper, cardboard, boxboard, glass and five types of plastic. 

“It will employ an unprecedented 11 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,” Pieter Van Dijk, CEO of Van Dyk Recycling Solutions, says. “As material trends change over time, these machines can simply be reprogrammed to adapt and prevent the system from aging out.”  

He adds, “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.”

In addition to producing high-quality recyclables, the MRF is designed to keep its employees safer. The All American MRF’s “monolevel structure” and heightened focus on automation will create the innovative and safe working environment that Murphy Road Recycling was seeking, the company says.  

“The health and safety of our employees is our number one concern at Murphy Road Recycling,” Antonacci says. “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.” 

Antonacci adds, “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.”

Murphy Road Recycling says it 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. 

Berlin Mayor Mark Kaczynski says, “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.”

“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,” Connecticut Congressman John B. Larson says. “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 in the battle against climate change.”