The City Council of University City on April 9 reported that changes in recycling markets have prompted the city to look into the reopening of a city-run recycling facility that has been closed for more than a decade.

The council approved signing a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) study grant agreement. The $24,000 grant from the St. Louis Jefferson Solid Waste Management District will be used to examine the possibility of reopening the city’s MRF, located at 1015 Pennsylvania Ave. near the eastern end of Heman Park. The city closed the facility in 2008.

A MRF (pronounced “Murf”) is a specialized plant that receives, separates and prepares recyclable materials for marketing to end-user manufacturers.

Prior to its use as a recycling facility, the city used the location for the processing of curbside recycling, which the city offered, before the decision to have Republic Recycling handle recycling operations.

Kirkwood, Brentwood and Valley Park have expressed an interest in utilizing and investing in the material recovery facility if University City reopens it.

Representatives of the city’s public works department told the council that the basic structure of the facility, including pit and chute openings, are still in place, and that there are still staff members from prior operations who have knowledge of the recycling process.