Eco.Ge.Ri valorizes waste with AUTOSORT® by recovering valuable recyclables 

Porcarelli Group's latest plant relies on five AUTOSORT® sorting platforms within a plant designed and built in record time by STADLER Italia Srl. The plant is able to recover as much recyclable material as possible, with the residual part, after further processing and thus deprived of contaminants, being valorised as a solid recovered fuel.

Inaugurated in 2022 in Finale Emilia (Modena), Eco.Ge.Ri  Srl's plant deals with the production of SRF (solid recovered fuel), an alternative to fossil fuels, obtained from the dry component (plastic, paper, textile fibres, etc.) of non-hazardous waste through special separation treatments from non-combustible materials.

The Italian facility is one of the most innovative in Europe and succeeds in diverting from landfills approximately 150,000 tonnes (per year) of waste that cannot be furtherly recovered.

Eco.Ge.Ri Srl belongs to the Porcarelli Group, which is present along the entire waste chain, from collection to transport, up to the valorization of waste as raw materials. "Our company was founded over 50 years ago out of the conviction that waste can replace raw materials in industry, safeguarding natural resources," explains Luciano Porcarelli, co-owner together with his brother Giuseppe of the Porcarelli Group. The Group is made up of four companies and five plants with the aim of giving value to what is discarded. To date, over 3 million tonnes of recyclable fractions have been recovered in their plants.

Eco.Ge.Ri. plant TOMRA machines
Eco.Ge.Ri. plant with TOMRA machines

To design and build the new Italian plant, the company turned to STADLER and TOMRA to meet their targets: selecting incoming waste and transform it into raw materials and, only for the residual non-recoverable part, into quality SRF to be used in cement plants and waste to energy plants.

Luciano Porcarelli, Eco.Ge.Ri CEO
Luciano Porcarelli, co-owner of Porcarelli Group

SRF makes it possible to transform non-recoverable waste into a new, less polluting energy source to be used instead of fossil fuels. In other words, less CO2, less landfill waste and cheaper energy.

STADLER was responsible for the design and construction of the plant, which was completed on schedule in three months and started up on 6 June 2022. The variability of the input material posed a real challenge for the design of the facility, which had to guarantee a high recovery rate and the production of SRF of the best possible quality.

Fabrizio Gasparin, Sales Manager Italy at TOMRA Recycling Sorting, says: "Eco.Ge.Ri required state-of-the-art sensor technology and above all a great deal of experience in the field. Together with STADLER’s engineers and our technicians, we determined the most suitable type of machinery for the plant, capable of recovering even the smallest amount of plastic and, on the other hand, guaranteeing the quality of the SRF produced thanks to a selection platform specifically for this material".

The plant seen up close

The secondary solid fuel preparation process consists of several steps: preliminary shredding, screening and ballistic separation using STADLER machinery, removal of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, followed by removal of material containing chlorine or flame retardants using TOMRA sorters. This is followed by a final shredding of the otherwise non-recoverable material.

The five AUTOSORT® were positioned at different points along the line. Two AUTOSORT® are in charge of sorting the 2D fraction, where they eject plastics with high chlorine values; two are in the 3D stream and sort plastics for recovery (PET, PEHD, PELD) and what is left goes to SRF. Then, at the end of the line, an AUTOSORT® RDF is dedicated exclusively to analysing the solid recovered fuel, reading its parameters so that it respects the necessary characteristics for the required uses.

Luciano Porcarelli believes in this product: "It is an alternative energy source with a low carbon content, less polluting than coal, gas and oil. And thanks to TOMRA technology, we can minimise waste and obtain a considerable amount of high-quality SRF."

The implementation of TOMRA’s AUTOSORT® technology, along with the complete plant designed and built by STADLER, has brought tangible results and significant benefits to Eco.Ge.Ri. Luciano Porcarelli says he is satisfied: "The recoverable plastic fraction has increased significantly and the company has proven to exceed the results obtained with manual sorting.

Eco.Ge.Ri. plant TOMRA machines
Eco.Ge.Ri. plant with TOMRA machines

This is made possible by the flexibility of the AUTOSORT® machines and the expertise of their technical support team that, together with the engineering team by STADLER, were able to customize the settings and technology to suit the specific needs of our plant.

With the combination of Eco.Ge.Ri's innovative vision, TOMRA's advanced sorting solutions and STADLER’s engineering ability to design and build custom-made recycling plants, it is possible to transform waste management into a sustainable and cost-effective process, helping to preserve natural resources and reduce the overall environmental impact.