GCM Enviro: brooklyn bound

Sunshine Groupe Operations Manager Colin Riley tells Waste Management Review how the rise in construction and demolition waste prompted their latest purchase.

With capital injections at a state and federal level, the Australian construction industry is booming.

Capital influx, paired with growing public consciousness around the impacts of waste and the reality of finite resources, has led to an increased number of construction companies seeking sustainable solutions for their construction and demolition waste (C&D).

Located within a 10-kilometre proximity of the Melbourne CBD, Sunshine Groupe’s Brooklyn recycling site has become a hub for the city’s C&D waste.

Operations Manager Colin Riley says C&D is now one of the company’s most commonly received waste streams.

“We are heavily invested in safeguarding the community and the environment through recycling, and as such need effective and accurate equipment to separate heavy impurities from the material we want to process,” Colin says.

“I’ve been working at Sunshine Groupe for over 20 years and the rise in C&D is substantial. A number of challenges come with that given the materials high variability and substantial weight.”

Colin says the scale of the Brooklyn site is what inspired the need for a new for a new piece of mobile sifting equipment.

“We already have lot of fixed processing equipment on site but are dealing with significant space and multiple stockpiles. Transporting waste around the site to access that fixed equipment was becoming unsustainable,” Colin says.

“After consulting with GCM Enviro, we decided to purchase a moveable Terra Select W80 Windsifter four months ago and its really solved that issue for us.”

The Terra Select W80 mobile windsifter separates stones from wood materials, wood from building rubble and impurities from aggregate.

“We depend on cleanly separated feedstock so recycled components can be further processed. Our situation is therefore ideally suited to separation via windsifting,” Colin says.

According to Colin, Sunshine Groupe use the Terra Select windsifter to process roughly 50,000 tonnes of material each day.

“The Terra Select outperforms all other windsifters I’ve used and has far exceeded my expectations,” Colin says.

The sifter can achieve a throughput of up to 120 cubic metres per hour and has an adjustable level of cleaning of up to 95 per cent, with an optimum feed grain size of one to four.

In addition to its own feed hopper, the mobile windsifter also has an integrated metering roller that Colin says enables fast turnaround times.

“The machine has flexible options for feeding material, which we can adjust depending on the specifics of what we are working with at the time,” Colin says.

“It can be adjusted to work either at an angle with a wheeled loader, or at an angle from an upstream screening plant. The dosing roller then evenly feeds the material from the hopper to the windsifter.”

If required, the discharge conveyor of the separator can be fitted with a magnet to remove metals from building rubble, further highlighting its application use for varied waste streams like C&D.

The machine is controlled centrally via a modern display, with all machine components readily accessible due to large maintenance hatches. Additionally, it is driven by its own high-output diesel engine, which supports total mobile function.

“It’s a mobile machine in every sense of the word and can be completely set up and functional within a short space of time for new locations or feedstock changeover. It also has road approval for off-site operations,” Colin says.

In addition to separation, the windsifting process protects other machines and plants by removing heavy debris before later processing stages.

When dealing with stone or concrete for example, sifting removes potentially harmful objects, purifies the material before crushing and leads to a longer shelf life for all machinery involved.

“GCM Enviro really pulled through for us, we told them what we needed, and they delivered on all fronts,” Colin says.

“The servicing and parts department is really on the ball – if we make a spare or extra parts order it arrives the following day.”

Colin says while he hasn’t needed to take them up on the offer yet, GCM Enviro has committed to sending service and maintenance teams downs to Melbourne if any issues arise.

“I’ve been in the industry for over two decades and have seen a lot of equipment, some that works well, some that doesn’t,” Colin says.

“The Terra Select W80 works so well because it takes a lot of different technology types and combines them, really expanding the capabilities of a relatively small machine.”

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ZenRobotics delivers new waste sorting system

E-waste recycling

Finish robotic technology developer ZenRobotics will deliver a new robotic waste sorting system to Melbourne waste management firm Sunshine Groupe.

Waste Management World reported the three-armed ZenRobotics Recycler units (ZRR3) would be the first of its kind in Australia, which will be fully operational by spring 2017.

Sunshine Group told the publication it had been investing its funds in a bid to become one of Melbourne’s primary waste processors.

“We believe that through changed thinking and innovative technology, wastes can be transformed into valuable resources. We will achieve this by challenging conventional waste practices and by looking for new and innovative technologies to recycle waste,” explained Tom Buxton, Director at Sunshine Groupe.

Sunshine Groupe installed a material recycling facility (MRF) at its Brooklyn landfill and recovery site through a partnership with Sustainability Victoria.

The facility has been used by the Melbourne company to better identify resources from the 120,000 tonnes per annum waste stream to be repurposed and reused for other materials.

Once the waste is sorted, it will be transferred to the robotic material sorting plant.

ZenRobotics explained that the ZRR3 will use precision sensors and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to sort specific material types from the waste stream.

Robots in Waste’s Jim Duncan told Waste Management World the Australian market looks very promising for the technology.

“It is exciting for Robots in Waste to have the Sunshine Groupe project finally close to completion as there are many companies that are aware of this significant development and are watching with interest,” he said.

“Because of the sheer size of our country we will have people flying across the continent to see the ZRR3 in action. Such is the interest in the system.”