Lucas County materials recovery facility (MRF) work begins in 2024

The Board of Lucas County Commissioners and Lucas County Solid Waste Management District are pleased to be constructing a materials recovery facility (MRF) at the site of the former South & Western Landfill in Toledo.

The MRF will be a state-of-the-art facility that will receive, sort, consolidate, and ship an estimated 30,000 tons of recyclables collected from Lucas County residents each year. 

Initial work on the property along South Avenue and Kuhlman Drive, including site remediation, will take place in February and March 2024. The facility is expected to be operational in 2026.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a MRF?

A: A materials recovery facility, or MRF (pronounced like "murph"), receives, separates, and prepares recyclables to be sold to an end buyer. A MRF uses a combination of equipment, machines, and manual labor to separate and prepare recyclable materials.

Q: What does a MRF sort?

A: Materials recovery facilities sort a wide array of recyclable materials, including, but not limited to:

  • Plastics
  • Cardboard
  • Paper, including newspapers, magazines, office paper, and mixed paper
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Metal containers, including aluminum and steel cans
  • Cartons

Q: Who will operate the MRF?

A: Lucas County will have an agreement with Balcones Resources to receive, process, and market recyclables, as well as to operate the MRF. View a video of the Balcones Resources MRF in Austin, Texas to learn how a MRF works.

Q: What are the benefits of a MRF?

A: Materials recovery facilities help recycle in a more economic and efficient manner. In Lucas County, a single-stream MRF will drastically reduce our county-wide carbon footprint. Recycling materials that are put out at the curb or collected at drop-off locations currently are transferred 90 miles away in Oberlin to be sorted. With the new MRF, Lucas County will take in recyclables, sort and process the materials, and prepare for shipment all in one location, saving employee time and taxpayer money. The new facility will also add 25 new jobs in addition to retaining 15 jobs.

Q: Where will the MRF be located?

A: The facility will be located on 15 acres along Kuhlman Drive and South Avenue near I-75.

Q: How big will the facility be?

A: The facility is estimated to be 60,000 square feet. Lucas County looks forward to hosting public tours once the facility is operational.

Q: How much will it cost?

A: The building is estimated to cost $20 million.

Q: How is it being funded?

A: Lucas County has been awarded a $7 million grant from the State of Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program Fund and a $4 million grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.  Lucas County Solid Waste Management District funds and other grants/loans will make up the remaining required funds.

Q: When will it be open?

A. The facility is expected to be operational in 2026.

Q: Will I need to change the way I recycle?

A: No. Recyclables will continue to be picked up at the curb and at drop-off locations throughout Lucas County. For recycling best practices, please visit


  • December 12, 2023: A letter was sent to nearby residents regarding preliminary activities near Kuhlman Drive and South Avenue.
  • January 30, 2024: Lucas County and Verdantas, the company assisting Lucas County with engineering and design on the MRF project, are hosting an open house-style public information meeting. All interested parties are invited to the Verdantas offices located at 219 S. Erie St. in Toledo between 4-6 p.m. to learn more about the MRF.
  • February-March 2024: Crews will work to clear trees on the site to prepare for remediation activities 
  • Through 2025: Site capping, stabilization, soil vapor management will take place on the site.

  • 2025: MRF construction

  • 2026: MRF will be operational