Recycling

After the waste is separated, we recycle all the materials for which there is an active market.  Our equipment is able to capture and recycle over 90% of these materials, which normally include:

Material                                         Average Percent of Incoming Waste
Glass                                                                  8.1 %
Plastics (PET and HDPE)                                    4.4
Ferrous Metals                                                    2.6
Non-Ferrous Metals                                            0.8

Total Recyclable Material                                   15.9 %

Glass

Our facilities are able to capture a large percentage of glass contained in the incoming waste through a combination of manual sorting, and special equipment, such as glass crushers and trammels.

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Plastics

There are seven types of plastics which can be found in the waste stream.  Of these, PET (e.g. water, soft drink, and fruit juice bottles, medicine bottles, and some packaging materials), and HDPE (e.g. laundry detergent, bleach, milk, and shampoo bottles) have the strongest recycling markets.

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PET can be recovered and recycled again and again by thorough washing and remelting for use in new PET products.  PET can be recycled into new PET containers, carpet, clothing, protective packaging, industrial strapping, automotive parts, construction materials, even the felt for tennis balls, and tennis ball canisters.  Recycled HDPE is typically used to manufacture lawn and garden products, buckets, crates, office products and automobile parts, and plastic lumber furniture.

Our facilities are able to separate these plastics through a combination of mechanical sorting (through several stages, the last being optical sorters, which can separate the plastics by type) and manual sorting for quality control.  The materials are then baled and shipped to facilities, where they are recycled into new products.

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Ferrous Metals

Ferrous metals separated in our facilities are typically made up of tin cans, pots and pans, and other types of steel.  It is separated using magnets, then baled or shipped in containers for recycling.  Ferrous metal is ideal for recycling because it does not lose any of its inherent physical properties during the recycling process, which can be repeated ad infinitum. Ferrous metal is 100% recyclable and therefore, it can be used for the same applications as steel produced from virgin material.

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Non-Ferrous Metals

Non-ferrous metals include aluminum cans, brass, copper, nickel, tin, lead, and zinc.  These metals are separated from incoming waste in our facilities via the use of an eddy current, which is a magnetic rotor with alternating polarity, spinning rapidly inside a non-metallic drum driven by a conveyor belt.  As non-ferrous metals pass over the drum, the alternating magnetic field creates eddy currents in the non-ferrous metal particles, repelling the material away from the conveyor.

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The aluminum is then bundled and transported to treatment plants, where it goes through a re-melt process and turns into molten aluminum, which is then formed into large blocks called ingots.  Each ingot contains about 1.6 million drinks cans.  The ingots are then sent to mills where they are rolled out, and made into new products such as cans, chocolate wrapping and ready meal packaging.

Cardboard and Paper
Depending on the strength of the local recycling market, the overall recycling percentage can increase up to 50% of the incoming waste, by including cardboard paper, and sometimes mixed plastics (numbers 3-7 in the chart above).  Our projects typically switch the use of these materials between recycling and the production of Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF), depending on the environmental and economic feasibility in a given market, at a given time.