Montello S.p.A. Bergamo. A success story. An example of industrial conversion towards a green economy. Back in 1996, at the time of the steel crisis, the company's management decided to discontinue production of iron bars for reinforced concrete and transform the business into what would become one of the most advanced waste processing facilities in Europe and the only one in Italy capable of managing the complete cycle.
It proved to be a winning idea. Today, Montello S.p.A. occupies a 350,000 square metre industrial site, including a 120,000 square metre indoor area, and employs approximately 500 people. Technology is everywhere, mainly due to the use of TOMRA Sorting Recycling optical sensors, which are capable of recognising the different types of plastic and so reduce the need for manual sorting to a minimum.
This means 150,000 tonnes of post-consumer plastic packaging waste are recovered and recycled every year and, for the environment, a reduction of about 200,000 tonnes/year in CO2 emissions. Added to this, the company sorts and processes around 300,000 tonnes of organic waste collected for recycling, from which it obtains biogas (to produce the energy to power the facility) and high-quality fertilizer.
The company entered into the partnership with TOMRA Sorting Recycling immediately and by 1999 Italy had its first automatic system for sorting plastic containers for liquids (clear PET, blue PET, coloured PET and HDPE), as required by COREPLA, the Italian consortium for the collection and recycling of plastic packaging. It was so efficient that the flow diagram of the sorting process, defined for that first plant, is still taken as a standard of reference by all COREPLA Sorting Facilities that use automatic sensor-based sorting systems.