By Jeff Eriks, Cambridge Companies
July 1, 2019
Upgrading your MRF is serious business and requires a lot of planning and thought before beginning the actual upgrade process.
The first thing to begin any facility upgrade is a complete evaluation of the need.
- Why do you need to upgrade?
- Has the volume increased?
- Have the materials the facility receives changed drastically and sorting needs changed?
- Did the end-user change their requirements?
- Has there been a territory expansion?
- Has the condition of, or maintenance to, the existing equipment becomes too large of a portion of the budget?
Many things can trigger the need for an upgrade; however, identifying the reason(s) should be the first step in upgrading your MRF. Once the high-level project performance goals have been laid out and agreed upon, contract professionals to assist with the evaluation. Often, it is helpful to have a third-party help determine your goals.
Several industry experts can work to evaluate the waste stream, client requirements, permit needs, and develop the means and methods to go from the current status of your business to where you need to go during this growth or change period. These experts will help analyze your material and equipment sorting approach and determine where you need to be to adjust to the business changes.
Once that is conceptually defined, the next step is to determine the building changes you need to make to accommodate the proposed changes.
Back to the Basics!
So, a consultant has been brought on board to help evaluate the waste stream and help plan the changes you require. Some items need to be thought about going through this process that will affect you before and during the upgrade process.
Is it Major or Minor?
Identifying the specific changes needed will help determine if a major or minor upgrade will be required. In some cases, minor upgrades can occur while in operation, and changes are made during downtime. These can consist of updating certain pieces of equipment, adding newer technology to the line such as an optical sorter, replacing a baler, or many other things. Minor upgrades are easier to plan with minimal impact on the operations.