Visy's PET and HDPE recycling facility in Smithfield, New South Wales, is the first of its kind in Australia. It produces 2.5 – 2.9 tonnes of recycled food grade PET pellets and up to 1.5 tonnes of recycled food grade HDPE pellets per hour. For the first time the firm has taken the unusual step of marketing the material directly to consumers through its 'A Better Way' campaign.
The input material consists of PET and HDPE bottle waste from kerbside, commercial, and industrial waste collection. The plant operates using a PET recycling extruder and HDPE decontamination equipment from Starlinger, a Sorema washing line, and sorting equipment supplied by Stadler Anlagenbau and TOMRA Recycling. Visy uses the recycled PET pellets in its own preform production, while the food grade rHDPE pellets from milk bottles are sold to customers worldwide.
BEHIND THE SCENES
TOMRA Sorting meanwhile designed and developed a bespoke three-stage process using eight TITECH sensor-based sorting units. The fractions recovered using these units are PET clear, PE natural (food and non-food) and PE/PET jazz. The key materials targeted for recovery are the PET clear and the PE natural (food and non-food).
"On the PET clear, we used a series of TITECH autosort units that incorporate NIR and VIS (Visual Spectrometry)," explains Steve Almond, sales engineer at TOMRA Sorting. "The NIR sensor recognises materials based on their specific and unique spectral properties of reflected light while the VIS sensor recognises all colours in the visible spectrum for transparent as well as all opaque objects."
The process developed by TOMRA Sorting has enabled the plant to produce a high purity rate of over 98% for PET clear.
Read the full article written by Claudia Hagn at Waste Management World.