Material Recovery Facility (MRF)

Material Recovery Facility (MRF)

5700 Peabody Road

Columbia, MO 65202

Tel: 573-874-7598


Hours: Monday – Friday, 7:30am – 4:00pm


Nick Paul, Recovery Superintendent

Interactive Map

Recycling Map

Material Recovery Facility

The City of Columbia Material Recovery Facility is where recycled material get sorted, compressed, and shipped to a processing facility. 

Major appliances – washer, dryer, freezer, dehumidifier, stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, water heater, air conditioner, trash compactor, and conventional ovens – are accepted on site and charged a fee of $21.50 per appliance or $29.00 for units containing Freon. The appliances are then recycled and do not enter the landfill.

How it Works

Recovery facility layout

The Solid Waste Utility owns and operates a Material Recovery Facility that is designed for dual stream recycling. Recycling collection vehicles unload material onto the tipping floor using two gates, located on the south wall of the facility. Bags of shredded paper are immediately removed and placed into a bunker on east wall of the tipping floor. Compactors with cardboard are unloaded pushed into a pile near the west wall of the tipping floor. All other collection vehicles unload material near the middle of the tipping floor where mixed fibers are deposited at the east conveyor line and mixed (commingled) containers are moved to the west conveyor line.

Conveyor belt to baler

The mixed fiber line has 1-2 workers separating bulky cardboard from other mixed fibers as they are placed on the conveyor line. The mixed fiber materials are then separated manually on the fiber sort line. The mixed container line has 1-2 workers that break open the blue recycling bags from curbside collection to deposit loose material onto the conveyor line. The mixed containers are manually separated for #1 plastics, #2 plastics, and #3-7 plastics. The metal food cans are separated manually and by the use of magnets.  Aluminum cans are sorted toward the end of the line using an eddy current separator. The remaining material on the conveyor line, glass, drops onto a smaller conveyor belt that exits the building and drops into a bunker on the exterior west wall.

All recyclable material, except glass, are moved to a centralized pit and conveyor line to be baled on the north end of the facility. The finished bales are then stacked by material type and shipped to a processing facility or manufacturer. 

tin bales plastic bales