The Tomra Recycling business unit of Tomra Systems ASA, based in Norway, says that a system it supplied to a Norwegian sorting plant has shown that sorting mixed waste prior to disposal can be “a superior solution for recycling. separate collection “.

According to Tomra, since the district of Norway served by the plant stopped separate collection of plastic in its area and rolled out a mixed waste sorting system, the facility has increased material recovery rates by 28% to 82 % and achieved a recycling rate of 56.4%. , “Thus meeting in advance the EU recycling targets for 2025”.

Tomra says that the IVAR district “now ranks first in the treatment of MSW [municipal solid waste] By volume. “

Located in Forus in southwestern Norway, IVAR manages all tailings and waste collection from 10 municipalities with a population of approximately 325,000. With its MSW sorting plant, IVAR now recovers large volumes of recyclable materials before incineration, “reducing CO emissions.2 emissions and global dependence on virgin materials by providing high-quality recycled content for new products and packaging, ”says technology provider Tomra.

As local and international recycling targets became increasingly stringent, IVAR recognized the need to improve its waste management and recycling methods. The company turned to Tomra for advice on identifying opportunities for sorting mixed waste. The factory sent DSM samples from the region to the Tomra test facility in Germany.

There, the analysis showed that while recovering paper from its municipal solid waste streams was performing well enough, recovering plastics offered room for improvement. Analysis of the tests revealed that household waste contained high volumes of recyclable plastics, even though it was supposed to be collected separately.

Based on this analysis, Tomra recommended the construction of a new fully automated mixed waste sorting plant including new facilities for plastics reprocessing and paper sorting, as well as the elimination of separate collection of plastics. In the region.

Previously collected separately, plastics are now also disposed of in the gray bin of the selective collection system and recovered in the new facility. As a result, only the residues from the plant are transported to a waste-to-energy plant, explains Tomra.

At the end of 2014, the plant construction project began with Sutco Recycling Technik, based in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, selected as the supplier of IVAR’s combined residual waste and paper sorting plant. Sutco, in turn, selected Tomra Recycling as the project partner for the sorting equipment. Since the commissioning of the new facility in January 2019, 22 of the Automatic sorting sorting units now sort plastics (PET, PS, LDPE, HDPE, PP) and paper (mixed papers, cardboard, drink cartons) from what is collected in the region’s gray bins. In addition, metals (aluminum, steel) are recovered.

In the system, collected materials larger than 350 millimeters, or mm, (13.75 inches) are sorted by a finger sieve and shredded into smaller pieces before two drum sieves separate the materials into three target sizes: less 60 mm (less than 2.35 inches); 60 to 150 mm (2.35 to 5.9 inches); and 150 to 320 mm (5.9 to 12.6 inches).

In the next step, Tomra’s Autosort machines collect 90% of the medium (2.35 to 5.9 inch) and large (5.9 to 12.6 inch) plastic fractions before extracting the mixed paper. . Finally, magnets and eddy currents remove both non-ferrous and ferrous metals, explains Tomra.

Once the plastics have been pre-sorted, they are then sorted by material type. First, ballistic separators separate plastic film and rigid plastics. Then 14 Autosort machines undertake the separation of rigid plastics into PP, HDPE, PS, PET and create a clean fraction of LDPE plastic film.

To further increase the purity levels, the clean material fractions undergo a second sorting step, also performed by Autosort machines, to remove remaining contaminants. PS and PET considered to be high quality final fractions are baled and sent to various mechanical recycling plants in Europe. LDPE, HDPE and PP are washed, dried and granulated in the IVAR Forus plant and sold as granules.

The mixed paper fraction, as well as the mixed paper and cardboard feed from the separate collection, is processed in a separate sorting line. Of more than 23,000 metric tonnes of paper sorted per shift, 95.7% of the feed material is transformed into four salable paper products, including de-inking paperboard, OCC, Tetra Pak and other paperboards.

“We were delighted to have the opportunity to consult with IVAR in the planning of a new plant, to supply our latest sensor-based sorting equipment and to support such an exciting and groundbreaking project,” said Oliver Lambertz , a Tomra recycling vice-president. According to him, the following objectives have been achieved: sorting almost all PE, PP, PS or PET plastics suitable for (mechanical) recycling; sort 95 percent of the identified fractions; and achieve purity levels of 95 to 98 percent.

Comments Rudolf Meissner, supervisor at IVAR: “Tomra’s sorters and consultants convinced us from the start. As we have seen first-hand, they are an essential tool for automated waste sorting, performing a high throughput and generating high levels of yield and purity – the goal pursued by all sorting facilities and the reason for which these machines definitely belong to any modern sorting and sorting system. recycling facility. Combined with their reliable service, we could turn our waste sorting process into a profitable and competitive business.