Washing billions of bottles: Applied Machinery

With onshore plastic processing set to grow, Daniel Fisher, Applied Machinery, details the streamlining ability of high-energy washing.

The onshore consequences of the upcoming waste export ban could see the domestic resource recovery industry swamped by mountains of plastic.

To fully capitalise on this, Daniel Fisher, Applied Machinery Project Manager, says plastic recycling operators need to invest in efficient and high-capacity washing systems.

“The significance of washing is often understated, with importance placed on seemingly more complex processes such as sorting and granulating,” Daniel says.

“But, given the nature of most plastic waste, and the fact it often takes the form of packaging, removing contaminants and impurities efficiently is critical to sustained operations.”

According to Daniel, Applied Machinery’s range of plastic-washing systems are designed for high-performance recovery of rigid and flexible plastics derived from a variety of sources.

“We’re able to facilitate modular systems to tackle HDPE and PET bottles, and depending on application requirements, can provide bale breakers, infeed conveyor belts, pre-shredders for wet or dry size reductions, pre-washers and screw washers,” he says.

In particular, Daniel says Applied Machinery’s HDPE Bottle/Container Washing System is well suited to operators hoping to take advantage of the upcoming domestic plastic processing boom.

Developed by Guangzhou-based equipment manufacturer Genox, the HDPE washing line is designed for rigid plastics.

Daniel says the washing system’s wear-resistant design works to maximise operating time and throughput via consistent processing.

“The high-speed washing system works to liberate plastic flakes from contaminants,” Daniel says.

“The washing tank’s under-water force-washing paddles then work to amplify washing efficiency, while mechanical and thermal drying systems reduce end product moisture.”

Shredding and washing are set at calculated intensities, Daniel says, to avoid over friction and material loss.

“Label separation can also be achieved through advanced wind separation,” he adds.

The system features an inclined friction washer, float-sink washing tank and vertical dewatering machine, before material passes through a zig-zag classifier.

In the current economic and political waste climate, Daniel says investing in a Genox HDPE Bottle/Container Washing System can deliver significant returns on investment.

“The Australian resource recovery industry will see major opportunities over the next few years, so the time is right for facilities to upscale their operations and capitalise on the next generation of plastic processing.”

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Shredding the unshreddable: Tutt Bryant

Waste companies are reaping productivity gains from Metso Waste’s M&J 4000M shredder, available through a new partnership with Tutt Bryant Equipment.

Tutt Bryant Equipment has had a long history of serving the waste sector through its iconic BOMAG and Metso brands.

With its various iterations, the machine has for decades helped reduce costs and improve safety through intelligent compaction. While Tutt Bryant is perhaps best-known for its landfill compactors, crushers and screens, the Australian supplier recently bolstered its presence in the waste sector with a new OEM partnership.

With branches in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin and a number of independent dealers, Tutt Bryant Equipment is able to support the market effectively.

In September last year, Tutt Bryant became the exclusive distributor for Metso Waste’s mobile shredders, with the first machine sold to Cleanaway. The company offers an array of shredders to the marketplace, from the M&J 4000M to M&J 6000M, available for a variety of throughputs and applications.

Paul Doran, Tutt Bryant Equipment Business Development Manager, explains Metso Waste approached the supplier due to its long history with Metso Minerals in the quarrying sector.

“We’ve been the distributor for crushing and screening equipment for Metso since 2012,” Paul explains.

“Metso Waste realised it was a good fit for us as because of the broad range of products that Tutt Bryant equipment provide in the waste sector, including landfill compactors, crushers, screens, excavators and front end loaders.”

He says Tutt Bryant is seeking to expand its offering to the waste industry by supporting transfer stations with their processing needs.

“This is an opportunity for us to provide a variety of equipment, whether it be crushing concrete, screening waste material or reducing landfill volumes,” he says.

Metso Waste Recycling shredding technology is based on an extremely aggressive knife design and open cutting table, which provides outstanding performance when dealing with mixed and challenging materials.

“A lot of other shredders have a single shaft and rely on the shaft to cut the product, whereas with the Metso design, the knives drive the material into the cutting deck to break it up,” he says.

Paul adds that high-performance pumps maintain high torque levels, in addition to a variety of program settings on the knives allowing both shafts to cut in both directions and  asynchronously.

“They shred materials other machines wouldn’t shred due to a heavy robust engineering design,” Paul says.

He adds the shredder also comprises a detailed fleet management system to monitor the performance of the machine.

“You can get into an amazing level of detail on the pressures, how it’s running and how much fuel it’s using to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment.”

These key features make M&J PreShred units extremely resistant to wear caused by materials and waste normally considered unshreddable, including solid steel, reinforced concrete and rocks. The machine has sensors that notify the operator of overloading which helps to protect it from damage.

Throughputs can be as high as 100 tonnes per hour depending on the type of input, number of knives specified for the cutting table and loading procedure. The interaction between the rotating knives on these shafts running asynchronously, and in both directions, ensures that the input material is constantly in motion. This prevents bridging and provides maximum shredding capacity.

With the Queensland waste levy underway, management at Cleanaway’s Willawong Transfer Station decided to start looking at shredding materials onsite to reduce volumes and improve separation.

The initial discussions between Cleanaway and Tutt Bryant Equipment were around Cleanaway’s requirement to purchase suitable plant to provide adequate reduction of municipal solid waste. This would enable efficient screening into separate products for further downstream treatment.

Due to great experiences with Metso crushers, the Willawong management team decided to explore the Metso M&J PreShredder range.

Further details and specification options on the M&J 4000M were discussed with Site Operations Manager Chris Thomson. The Tutt Bryant team gained a clear understanding of the impending needs of the site and ongoing volume increases. The large installed base of the units and Chris’ personal experience with Metso Crushers and Screens ensured confidence in the quality and support from Tutt Bryant.

After some benchmarking and considering several different supplier offerings, Cleanaway ordered the M&J4000M and it was delivered to Willawong in July 2019.

“The main reason for selecting the M&J 4000 was that we were confident in it providing the necessary volume reduction, and because of its twin shaft design, we knew it would be very reliable,” Operations Manager Chris Thomson says.

Chris attributes reliability to the Metso build quality and understanding that the production capacity would be there.

After five months of operation, Chris says the machine has performed far better than expected.

“It is user-friendly, even for staff with little exposure to shredders. We got a good feeling about how this relationship was going to go before the machine arrived as Metso Waste and Tutt Bryant senior managers came to site and met with us to discuss the machine and our application,” he says.

“The after-sales support and service from Tutt has been excellent. I can’t fault it.”

The M&J 4000M will be showcased at this year’s Waste 2020 Conference in May at Coffs Harbour.

To find out how the M&J 4000M will improve your material transfer, recovery or landfill operations, please contact Tutt Bryant Equipment on 1300 658 888 or metso@tuttbryant.com.au

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Lubricating the waste sector: Gulf Western Oil

Ben Vicary, Gulf Western Oil Director, speaks with Waste Management Review about achieving machine and vehicle efficiency with high-quality oils and lubricants.   

Sustainability discourse often centres around big ideas – the circular economy, digital transformation and export markets. Without consistent and steady operational chains on the ground, however, the ability to translate those ideas into practice is limited.

While not as glamourous as high-tech plastic reprocessing plants or multi-million-dollar waste-to-energy facilities, kerbside collections and waste transfer stations are a critical component of the sustainability system. So too are the vehicles and equipment that facilitate their operations and function as a link between consumer and recycler.

As Director of a national lubricant manufacture and supply company, Ben Vicary of Gulf Western Oil understands the importance of streamlined processes. Given accelerating waste generation rates, he says it’s important now more than ever that waste and resource recovery vehicles maintain uptime and high efficiency levels.

Ben adds that lubricants, an often-forgotten component of waste and resource recovery operations, are critical to machine and vehicle maintenance in harsh, stop-start waste environments.

“Waste facilities have some of the harshest conditions for heavy vehicles possible. Trucks collecting at kerbside for example have to deal with a lot of dust, while waste transfer station vehicles need to contend with extreme temperatures and constant heavy loads,”

“It is definitely a very demanding environment, that’s for sure.”

To minimise vehicle challenges and ensure productivity, Ben says Gulf Western Oil has long-term lubricants and maintenance contracts with a range of leading Australian waste management and resource recovery organisations.

“We work with a number of companies that operate hundreds of vehicles for municipal and commercial waste contracts, including heavy vehicles, cars and various light vehicles,” he says.

“If they don’t keep their equipment lubricated and in-check, they won’t be able to effectively service those contracts, which highlights the importance of reliable and trustworthy relationships with quality lubricant suppliers.”

As a family-owned and operated business, Gulf Western Oil has been producing maintenance products for the Australian market since 1988.

Embracing leading global lubricant programs such as the ISO 9001 Quality Assurance Management System Certification, API and OEM approvals, Gulf Western Oil prides itself on only using the highest quality virgin base oils and technologically advanced American Petroleum Institute approved additive systems.

Gulf Western Oil’s extensive range of products includes full synthetic and semi synthetic engine oils, transmission fluids, diff and hydraulic oils, gear oils, coolants, greases and cleaners. Ben adds that the Gulf Western Oil range is continually growing. One of Gulf Western’s most popular ranges is “Top Dog” which has both mineral and semi synthetic options available.

The unique formulation of this particular range contains performance-enhancing wear protection, oxidation control and contaminant handling technology that exceeds the requirements of current lubricant specifications. This facilitates improved efficiencies, Ben says, while reducing downtime within mixed fleets, especially in the harsh conditions of the waste management sector.

Additionally, Gulf Western Oil’s range of coolants and greases work to manage load bearing in high-temperature, high-load and extreme operating environments. The waste sector has highly stringent industry standards and corrective services and maintenance regimes, Ben says. He adds that Gulf Western Oil’s products always go above and beyond those standards.

“We’ve been told by clients that they often drain oil that’s still in good condition, which goes to show the quality of our product. This kind of feedback is what we love to hear,” he says.

In addition to product quality, Ben says Gulf Western Oil’s commitment to service and after-sales support is a high priority for the company.

When clients require oil sampling or information on a product, Ben says they can send an information request via phone, email or through their website. “Customer service is something we pride ourselves on, so we always ensure our responses are prompt, no matter how they are received,” Ben says.

“Our Gulf Western Oil sales representatives work extremely hard to develop strong relationships with their clients and their teams. They make sure to touch base with everyone regularly, keeping them up to date with new developments and products.”

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Reman for regrowth: Caterpillar

As Caterpillar celebrates its 20th year on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, the company speaks with Waste Management Review about its sustainability strategy.

The last year of the decade saw Caterpillar celebrate its 20th year on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. Launched in 1999, the indices evaluate the sustainability performance of thousands of publicly traded companies.

Inclusion is said to function as a benchmark for investors who recognise the long-term shareholder value of sustainable business practices.

Caterpillar was recognised in 2019 for its continued global innovation focus, human rights policy, collaboration with suppliers to assess sustainability performance and public reporting and third-party verification of social and environmental progress.

According to Anthony Watson, Caterpillar Industry Segment Manager Asia Pacific, Caterpillar’s continuous Dow Jones inclusion highlights the alignment of its sustainability and business strategies.

“We think it’s important to manufacture efficient and high-capacity machinery in a sustainable way,” he says.

“Operators don’t have to sacrifice quality for positive environmental outcomes, or vice versa.”

Anthony adds that Caterpillar is committed to building its reputation as a forward-thinking and sustainability minded company in 2020.

Caterpillar’s overarching vision, he says, is to work towards a world in which all people’s basic needs are fulfilled in an environmentally sustainable way.

While achieving this in totality is beyond the scope of an equipment manufacturer, Anthony says Caterpillar can contribute by enhancing product lifecycles and supporting the communities in which it works.

Specifically, he says Caterpillar is committed to preventing waste, continuously improving machine and business quality and innovating equipment systems to support the waste and resource recovery sector.

He adds that the waste industry, which has consistently represented a critical portion of Caterpillar’s customer portfolio, has been growing steadily over the past five years.

“As populations continue to grow there is more demand for waste services. While on a global level we can observe some of the challenges associated with that increase, Caterpillar is committed to using our machinery to manage the challenge,” he says.

To achieve this, Anthony says Caterpillar intends to develop and apply innovative technology to grow the sustainability performance of its machinery, services, solutions and operations throughout 2020.

“We believe sustainable progress is possible by developing better systems that maximise lifecycle benefits, while also minimising the economic, social and environmental costs of ownership,” he says.

“Part of our business strategy is reman and rebuild, which involves finding new ways to reduce, reuse, recycle and reclaim materials that would have otherwise gone to landfill,” he says.

Through the program, Anthony says end-of-life products can be returned to operating condition at a significant saving.

Once returned to a reman facility, he says the product is disassembled down to its smallest part.

“Each element is cleaned and inspected against strict engineering specifications to determine if it can be effectively salvaged,” he says.

“From there, accepted components are converted into production ready material through our advanced salvage techniques.”

He adds that in addition to reducing ownership and operating costs, the product stewardship approach reduces waste, minimises demand for raw material and lowers greenhouse gas emissions through reduced manufacturing.

Caterpillar is also working to improve the process efficiency of its new equipment.

“Our next generation hydraulic excavator, which was released in Australia over the past 12 months, allows operators to run their equipment more sustainably through up to 25 per cent reduced fuel consumption compared to previous models,” he says.

Anthony says Caterpillar is also partnering with its customers to deliver more successful compaction rates and productive waste movement methods.

“Working to make our machines more efficient provides not just an economic incentive for our customers, but enables more sustainable practices, as operators are burning less fuel to achieve required compaction,” he says.

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What should organisations be doing in the wake of the Australian National Waste Policy Action Plan?

The 2018 waste report found that nationally, 8.5 million tonnes of business waste goes to landfill every year; so organisations have the opportunity to have an incredible impact in the wake of the National Waste Policy Action Plan. How can organisations can make a difference towards the key targets now? Dan Crawford of Method Recycling explains.

Target 1, 2, & 3:  be more effective recyclers

Targets 1 through 3 really boil down to avoiding what we can and then being more effective recyclers, which should be a priority for any workplace. Though often, recycling and waste systems are an afterthought and bins are hidden under desks or in cupboards.

Whereas, recycling in the workplace takes a system approach, removing lone general waste bins and instead implementing communal recycling stations consistently throughout a space. The bins should be well designed and stand out within your space, featuring clear colour-coding and graphics. Through regular interaction with consistent bins throughout the workplace, recycling will become an unconscious habit. Further, ensure that education is in place to help users to use the bins effectively, from regular emails to signage, also reducing contamination.

Target 4: significantly increase the use of recycled content

We all have a role to play in increasing the demand for recycled materials through our purchasing and manufacturing. Consider implementing procurement policies that prioritise the inclusion of recycled materials; and more importantly, ask the company you’re purchasing from what happens to the product at the end of its life.

Have they designed the product to last? Is it recyclable again? Is there a take-back scheme? This ensures you’re purchasing with an end-of-life focus and driving the circular economy.

Target 5: phase out problematic and unnecessary plastics

Will we save the world by getting rid of plastic straws? No, but it goes a long way in terms of environmental impact and a changing mindset for the wider public. Single-use items such as straws, plastic bags, pens, bottled water, coffee cups etc are problematic because they’re emblematic of our take, make and waste culture, as well as being low value. However, when we start to become more aware of the single-use products we use, real change starts to happen.

In the workplace, we can invest in refillable pens and markers, provide staff with reusable coffee cups and water bottles. You can even talk to local food and drink vendors to provide a discount when a reusable cup or container is used.

Target 6: halve the amount of organic waste sent to landfill for disposal by 2030

On average, one-third of a workplace’s waste is organics that could have been composted. For one client with 125 staff, this added up to over 1.6 tonnes of food waste going to landfill in just one year. Why is this important? Non-recycled food waste contributes to 8 per cent of greenhouse gases and creates methane in the atmosphere, which is 25 times more potent than CO2.

This is by far the simplest action to implement, with a substantial impact for a workplace’s environmental impact. Particularly if you have a communal recycling and waste solution as mentioned previously, make sure organics bins feature prominently. 

Target 7: make data publicly available to support better decisions

Most of us recycle at home, but efforts often lag in the workplace due to the disconnect between the user and where the waste ends up, but data has the power to bridge this gap.

By having an ongoing measurement and reporting system in place, you can help your team to see and feel the impact of their collective decisions. More so, it helps to create a culture of collective responsibility where recycling and waste are talked about regularly, increasing awareness and individuals consideration of their actions. Better yet, make this information available publicly so that your customers can see the effort you’re making without green-washing.

Method have designed a recycling system that is helping organisations to recycle more and waste less. Such as Samson Corporation, a commercial property management company that reduced waste to landfill by 50 per cent on average at three of their key sites in just three months.

Method has proven the power of design to impact recycling results with their award-winning product family, while utilising over 44 tonnes of recycled materials in manufacturing in 2019.

Ready to implement an effective Recycling System? Talk to Method’s knowledgable team who will help to create a system that meets your specific needs – methodrecycling.com.

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Single-stream success: Wastech Engineering

Wastech Engineering’s Scott Foulds highlights the latest technologies to support a variety of materials recovery facilities.

When Freshkills Landfill in Staten Island, New York, one of the largest landfills in the world, closed at the end of 2001, it forced the City of New York to explore alternative waste management options.

One option mooted in the early 2000s to fill the gap was a materials recovery facility (MRF). According to a research paper published by the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, a 150-ton-per-hour facility could handle all of New York City’s recyclables. The operations within the MRF were proposed to be as automated as possible, increasing speed of operation, reducing costs and improving material recovery.

More than a decade on, New York City and other cities across the globe have embraced best practice, with the next generation of screens, optical sorters and air separation technology providing an end-to-end solution.

In leveraging more than 25 years’ experience supplying waste and recycling equipment, Wastech Engineering has been offering technologies to allow MRFs to sort and separate a wide range of waste streams.

Wastech’s commingled recycling screen range features the latest in design and engineering from their US partner The CP Group. From the proprietary cam-disc style CP Screen (polishing screen) to the OCC Screen and Auger Screens, the CP Group continues to set the pace for screening technology in kerbside recycling.

Scott Foulds, Operations Manager at Wastech, says the company’s range of screens provide full flexibility in MRF design for sorting and separating of various commodities.

“The flexibility of the MRF design, including which streams are captured, is ultimately designed around the outputs the customer wants for the markets they will sell into,” Scott explains.

“The CP Group in the US has implemented an extensive research and development program over the past 10 years to develop their screens to minimise wrapping and increase efficiency in seperation.”

Scott says the OCC Screen is an essential machine for any MRF. The screen effectively separates old corrugated cardboard (OCC) from other mixed fibre, containers and debris. Characterised by its low maintenance and wrapping design, the screen drops all material under 300 millimetres through the screen for further sorting.

“99 per cent of what goes over the OCC Screen will be clean cardboard with a very high purity rate so you don’t need quality control,” Scott says.

He says the steel discs and shafts have been designed for reduced wrapping, with a lifespan of around 15-plus years due to their robust construction and quality design.

The glass breaker screen is the next step in the process which breaks and separates glass and fines down to a 50-millimetre-minus product. The glass is removed early in the sorting process to protect the longevity of the equipment upstream.

Air separation technology can then remove light materials from glass such as small fibre, organics and plastics, with Wastech offering a host of systems through The CP Group or Impact Air.

The NewScreen is ideal for MRFs processing higher volumes that want to capture old newsprint. It is designed to automatically separate large fibre from mixed paper, containers and debris.

“If you’re operating a smaller MRF, then the CP Screen could recover all the fibre. But it does come down to what markets the customer has to sell their products into. If they’ve got a market for mixed paper, newsprint and cardboard, it’s better to separate those items, especially if the end user is getting good value for money,” Scott explains.

The CP Screen ensures a clean stream of paper by eliminating residues such as small fibres and organic material by dropping this out through the screen. The paper (2D material) goes over the top of the screen and the containers (3D material) go off the back of the screen. The CP rubber disc screens can be adjusted for speed and inclination, allowing it to be varied from 30 to 40 degrees, which help improve the efficiency and quality of the screen’s functionality.

Scott says the CP Screen has numerous advantages over other separators, namely the quantity of throughput and quality of separation.

In continuing to expand its offering to Australian MRF operators, Wastech launched the CP Auger Screen in 2018 – which enables accurate separation of newsprint and large fibres from the material stream early in the separation process. This is particularly useful in higher volume MRFs.

While robotics is largely an emerging technology, Scott says a variety of optical sorters can be used instead to sort fibre and containers and achieve high throughput, capture rates and quality outputs.

“As an alternative to robotics, we’ve come up with a different design in our optical sorting range where we use a single line optical sorter on the container line.

“All the containers pass through an optical sorting head which determines the container type, whether it be aluminium, PET, HDPE or liquid paperboard.”

The container is then ejected into the designated hopper as it passes down the conveyor line. Scott says all of Wastech’s products are backed up by its 24-hour Service Centre, with 15 service vehicles on the road nationally.

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Sustainable mining gains traction: CDE

Adam Holland, CDE Meta, speaks with Waste Management Review about how wet processing can transform mining waste into a sustainable value-added resource.

While sustainable mining might appear like a contradiction to those in the stereotypically green resource recovery industry, it’s a movement that’s gaining global traction.

With rising demand for quality metals, in addition to increasingly stringent environmental legislation, protecting finite natural resources and extracting value from “waste” is not just environmentally sound, but good business.

For CDE Meta, the mining arm of international wet processing design and manufacturing company CDE, delivering sustainable mine operations via iron ore beneficiation is central to its “New World of Resource” purpose.

According to Adam Holland, CDE Meta Head of Business Development, with billions of tonnes of low-grade and overburden iron ore stockpiles around Australia, there is a growing appetite to invest in sustainable practices.

“CDE strives to make it as easy as possible for companies to use their waste products for the greater good, while also delivering return on investment,” Adam says.

“We’re committed to maximising product value while reducing environmental impact. Sustainability is at the heart of all CDE projects.”

CDE was recognised for its commitment earlier this year, winning two awards, one in Ireland and one in South Australia, for its Iron Baron and Iron Knob projects with SIMEC. The two awards, gained on the same day at opposite sides of world, are a testament to the global reach of the company and the strength of its sustainability driven purpose.

The awards, Adam says, highlight that while sustainable mining might not be taking over the sector just yet, solutions are available, and a return on investment is possible for resource companies interested in taking a greener approach.

The SIMEC projects, commissioned in 2017, involves two separate wet processing plants with a combined capacity to convert 17 million tonnes of historic low-grade iron ore overburden waste into a high-value product. Without processing, iron ore waste often sits in unused stockpiles.

“With a processing capacity of 950 tonnes per hour, the two plants are successfully recovering high-quality iron ore from 100-year-old-plus-low grade mining waste feed material,” Adam says.

“Our plants beneficiate iron ore waste at 42 to 53 per cent Fe content through washing and gravity separation up to 63 per cent, at an almost 50 per cent yield.”

CDE was approached by Arrium (shortly after it was acquired by SIMEC) in 2013, before signing a design and construction contract in 2016.

“Because they were dealing with a historic stockpile, and therefore variable feed, SIMEC recognised CDE’s modular approach as a differentiating factor with inbuild flexibility,” Adam says.

“SIMEC understood the inherent value of its iron ore waste but needed our assistance to develop a cost-effective beneficiation solution.”

While the plants, Iron Baron and Iron Knob, engage similar processes, Adam says the Iron Baron facility is more complex – beginning with a 42-millimetre down feed.

Each process module is spaced out and separated by conveyors and pipe runs. This, Adam says, provides operators with superior access and flexibility when maintaining the plant and allows additional processes to be added for optimisation with minimal downtime to cope with feed material that changes periodically.

The Iron Baron process begins with two L55 hoppers, each feeding 350 tonnes of material per hour. Conveyors then transfer material into CDE’s patented P2-108 double deck infinity screens which wash and split the ore between fine and course beneficiation circuits.

Following initial screening, the course fraction travels to CDE’s AggMax – a combination of a Rotomax logwasher and dewatering screen.

“This is where the ore is scrubbed to liberate any smaller particles and break off impurities,” Adam says.

“It has performed exceptionally well – running for well over a year before we had to change out the paddles.”

Once the material is cleaned and scrubbed, it travels up more conveyors for dry screening, and then enters a fine or coarse jig for gravity separation.

“The plant then separates material into three stockpiles: a course product, fine product and rejected material,” Adam says.

“Given the nature of our process, however, even the rejected material can be reclaimed, with SIMEC using it for road construction around the mine.”

Adam says attention to maximum reuse was also behind the decision to install AquaCycle thickeners at the site. The thickeners, he says, produce a sludge from the reject slimes and enable recycling of 90 per cent of process water back through the plant.”

Additional benefits of the unique CDE modular solution, Adam says, include minimal civils, a faster, safer and reduced risk installation due to factory testing and per commissioning process, as well as reduced capital and operational expenditure.

“What sets these plants apart is CDE’s ability to design a modular solution, tailored to SIMEC’s unique requirements, delivered on a turnkey basis for cost-effective operations in a mining and iron ore context. This provides a superior return on investment for SIMEC,” he says.

In addition to effective return on investment, Adam says CDE is committed to providing ongoing customer care, adding that it works with a “customer-for-life model”.

“As part of this project, CDE has also invested in a significant vendor-held spares consignment that SIMEC can draw down as and when required,” he explains.

“We also have two full-time employees who work at the site and support SIMEC through maintenance and manage the VHS consignment, ensuring that bin levels are replenished for optimal plant performance.”

Adam says he hopes CDE’s SIMEC plants serve as a case study for larger resource companies seeking to increase operational sustainability. He adds that for every tonne of ore waste processed, mining companies can significantly extend the life of their mine and maximise reserves.

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De-packing for anaerobic domination: ELB and Peats Soil

As the food waste issue escalates, Peats Soil is transforming South Australia’s organic waste into high-grade renewable energy, with help from ELB Equipment.

Australia’s annual food waste bill hit $10 billion in 2019, up from $8.9 billion the previous year. Despite ‘fault’ often being directed at primary production and manufacturing, consumers were the biggest food waste offenders, generating 34 per cent of the nation’s food waste in 2019.

While the key to fighting food waste, and waste generally, is reduction, advancements in the waste-to-energy sector are highlighting renewable energy opportunities.

South Australia’s Waste Strategy 2015-2020, for example, highlights anaerobic digestion as a cost-effective solution in areas without the feedstock levels required to sustain large-scale waste-to-energy operations.

To that end, recyclers across the state are working to transform organic waste into energy and fertiliser, fostering a sustainable biofuel future.

Peats Soil is one of those operators, which in addition to processing much of metropolitan Adelaide’s garden organics via council kerbside, collects food organics from hotels, supermarkets, schools, offices and manufacturers.

Peats Soil opened its fourth compost and renewable energy site in May 2019.  Peter Wadewitz, Peats Group Managing Director, says Peats Soil is committed to realising the environmental impacts of soil improvement, biofuel and regeneration.

“Redirecting organic recyclable materials from homes and businesses away from landfill means methane gas is transformed into captured biogas for renewable energy production, without affecting the production of valuable soil improvement products,” he says.

To assist its operations, Peats Group maintains a long-term equipment supply relationship with ELB Equipment. The 10-plus-year relationship, Peter says, began after ELB took over Komptech’s Australian operations in 2009.

“We’d been working with Komptech for years, and always relied on them to supply high-quality equipment. When ELB took over, that reliability and quality continued, so we stuck with them. It’s a good relationship with quality backup and support,” he says.

Additionally, Peter adds that he continues to work with ELB due to the innovative choices they bring to market.

Introduced to the Australian market by ELB in 2018, the Dominator Depackaging Machine is one such innovation.

According to Simon Humphris, ELB Product Manager, the Dominator Depackaging Machine is designed to separate food and liquid from outer packaging, allowing the reuse of waste that would otherwise be destined for landfill.

The Dominator was developed in 1992 after a bag of animal feed accidently fell into a pellet press conditioner. The empty bag was reclaimed, but the product had been removed. The incident gave Rowan, a family-run biomass engineering company, an idea.

“Countless trials and adjustments later, the machine is capable of depackaging food waste, plastic bottles, tetra pak, tin cans, plasterboard, sachets and pharmaceutical and bakery waste,” Simon explains.

Separated packaging can be sent for recycling, he says, further reducing waste and potentially generating additional revenue streams.

“Expired or reject food with faulty packaging can be processed and used for anaerobic digestion, with the output also added to animal feed and used as a wet additive in compost facilities,” Simon says.

When Peter acquired a Dominator 3000 from ELB in early 2019, anaerobic digestion was a critical decision driver.

“We use the machine to grind and screen anything that’s housed in food packaging, from yogurt containers to apple cider bottles,” he says.

“The output then goes into our anaerobic digestor to generate energy, with the remaining sludge added to compost.”

To start the process, waste is loaded into an intake hopper where it begins conditioning. The Dominator then uses a motor to drive a solid steel shaft lined with paddles. Using mechanical and centrifugal forces, material is depackaged and forced through a mesh screen, leaving two separated waste streams for further processing.

Next, the material is augured and pumped into a holding tank, before it’s transformed into renewable energy.

The Dominator is available in two different models, Simon says, with an arrangement of different sizes depending on throughput and space requirements.

Peter’s model, the Dominator 3000, is available with up to 78 paddles, while the Dominator 3500 is available with up to 96 for heavy duty operations.

“Both models have a potential throughput of up to 255 cubic metres an hour and are available in mild or stainless steel, with motors ranging from 15 to 75 kilowatts,” Simon adds.

Portability is an added benefit of the depackager, Peter says, with the ability to move the machine seamlessly between four sites a crucial component of Peats Soils’ anaerobic process.

“There are other machines that do the job, but like with any purchase, you get to a point where while they’re all efficient, one is just a little bit better,”  Peter says.

“The Dominator stands out as one of the best depackaging machines on the market.”

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One-stop-shop services for the Recycling Plant sector

Australia’s recycling plants are working harder than ever. A number of factors are contributing to the “24/7, 365-day” operating service recycling plants are having to provide, including the restrictions of recyclables imported to China imposed in 2018.

Up until the ban, Australia had sent 619,000 tonnes of recycling waste to China annually. This caused a strain on local recycling plants. Enabling seamless 24/7, 365-day operations was first and foremost on its mind when BSC Australia targeted its house-brand supply of industrial consumables to recycling plants.

Marlin offer a range of products which include chemical cleaning, materials handling goods, and lifting and hoisting equipment. The industrial consumables stream, secondary to BSC’s core business of bearings and power transmission solutions, was established with the intention of providing a one-stop-shop service to the industries they look after, according to National Accounts Manager Wayne D’Souza.

“The extensive range of industrial consumable products that BSC has to offer outside of bearings and power transmission is an attractive proposition for our customers. Ultimately, they’re looking at reducing their tail-end spend, and including these product ranges in their overall scope of purchases from us,” says D’Souza.

“Generally, our customers haven’t thought about us for this and they’re quite impressed when we start demonstrating the range we’ve got.”

“The industrial consumables range is really a valued-added solution for our customers. Many of our customers and contracts are looking to rationalise their supplier base to save valuable time and money and our BSC valued-added solutions go hand-in-hand with increased efficiencies in procurement and supply chain strategies,” says Industrial and Engineering Consumables Category Manager, Dominic Arena.

BSC uses international and local suppliers for the Marlin range of products, with full control of the sourcing and supply chain, allowing for full traceability from the manufacturing stage through to the end user.

“Through this distribution method we can also offer customised solutions for real-world problems that our customers may face with product development and technical engineering at the forefront of what we do,” says Arena.

BSC also has the technical capabilities to be able to customise its products to suit the different industries it supplies.

“We can offer customised solutions as well, because we have that technical engineering product development capability, which differentiates us from the standard distributor who just walks in and sells right off the catalogue. We’ve got eyes and ears in the field that pick up on feedback and customer needs, and we’re able to develop products and product ranges that suit their requirements,” says Arena.

Through this field experience, BSC saw the challenges to recycling plants that Marlin can alleviate.

“In these recycling plants, there are a lot of extremely heavy, awkwardly-shaped products moving around at a high velocity,” says Arena.

“You’ve got lots of equipment and lots of operators. Having the correct load restraint equipment that’s properly labelled for the weight and the dimensions is essential to ensuring best practice for how things get moved around.”

By improving visibility and enabling a better flow of movement throughout the plant, the materials handling products ensure safe practise as well as preventing the loss of time that results from on-site injuries. One of the most important factors to keeping recycling plants and their machinery operational is keeping them clean.

“If contamination or foreign matter were to get into bearings or critical pieces of equipment, it could cause catastrophic failings,” says D’Souza.

“It could just be something as simple as dust, or it could be heavy, chunky grease that forms over time; that’s just as dangerous as having dust. You’ve got to remove that because that can not only contaminate the recyclables, but it can get into some of the equipment that we provide, such as bearings, and lead to stoppages. It can also cause an OH&S issue when its dropping on factory floors, making it unsafe at the workplace for traffic to go through.”

The chemical cleaning products Marlin supplies can be used while the machinery is running. To break down contaminants, such as built-up dust, oils, and thick chunky grease, users can spray and wipe down machinery components and equipment without needing to slow down operations. Best practice, however, says D’Souza, means sometimes having to shut the equipment down now and then. However, Marlin enables this down time to occur less often.

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Europe’s push for MRF automation: CEMAC

Europe is pioneering world-first local sorting solutions in its nations’ regions for difficult recyclable commodities such as LDPE. Waste Management Review explores the potential to bring fully automated materials recovery facilities to Australia.

In the village of Skedsmokorset, warm summers and dry winters typify the small community of 15,000 people, based within the municipality of Skedsmo, near Oslo.

Located in Akershus county, Skedsmo is named after the old Skedsmo farm, since the first church was built there almost 10 centuries ago.

Hundreds of years later, high labour costs have inspired a local solution to a local waste management problem.   

As the Norwegian community is fairly remote, the City of Oslo has opted for a fully automated mixed waste processing facility. After three years of planning, in 2016, Stadler Anlagenbau was awarded a contract to build and design the first-of-its-kind facility.

The world’s first fully automated mixed waste processing facility is run by municipal solid waste processor Romerike Avfallsforedling (RoAF), which is based in Skedsmokorset. The company collects household and food waste from 10 municipalities in Norway, including Skedsmo, which comprises a population of around 53,000.

Powered by a sorting system installed by Stadler Anlagenbau GmbH, green bags of food waste are separated from other material and taken to an on-site anaerobic digestion facility. The material is then transformed into biogas and used to fuel RoAF’s waste collection trucks.

As the plant was being built, Norwegian municipalities redesigned their kerbside system, opting to collect all recyclables in one commingled stream.

The plant features a variety of processing equipment, including 145 conveyors, 16 near-infrared (NIR) optical sorters, two drum screens, one vibrating screen, a star screen, a shredder, two bag openers, two ballistic separators and an eddy current.

Three AUTOSORT TOMRA systems separate and clean the green bags from the remaining waste bags by material and colour using NIR and visual spectrometry. This initial sorting process can successfully separate more than 97 per cent of the incoming green bio-waste bags.

Once waste is separated into different streams, further sorting sees a combination of mechanical processing such as ballistic separators and AUTOSORT optical machines, with PELD film, PEHD, PP, PET, mixed plastics and paper separated. Recyclable fractions are stored and baled and sent to different recyclers, with any residues collected and sent for energy recovery.

According to Eric Paulsen, CEMAC technologies Managing Director, RoAF shows the potential that can be tapped in municipal solid waste recovery via automation.

As local waste management conversations tend to focus on the “tyranny of distance” argument, Eric encourages Australian centres to re-consider the long-term economics. He says that the fact that Australia has a higher densification in urban centres than Europe allows for better agglomeration in the main cities.

Cemac technologies is the Australian supplier for STADLER screening drums, sorting plants, ballistic separators and TOMRA Sorting and the company is looking to offer its high level of engineering experience for the Australian sector.

Eric adds that given wages are higher in Australia than Europe, it makes sense to adopt more domestic automation.

“Traditionally, sorting plants in Australia were very low capital compared to overseas, in terms of quality. This had to get boosted through manual labour, but even in the case of cleaning up paper, you can’t manually pick plastic bags that weigh five grams per bag by hand – the only way forward is higher capital and automation.”

While total automation and a labour-free MRF might seem like future innovations, Eric says the solutions are already accessible.

“Technologies that can seamlessly sort commingled recyclables are available. By achieving improved purity levels through automation, you can deal with today’s challenges,” he says.

When putting RoAF into perspective, Eric says that the benefits are threefold – cost via reduced wages, revenue via improved recyclate quality and environmental via reduced collection trucks. Eric says this then creates revenue with a cleaner recycling stream and leads to skilled employment.

“You could build a facility like this in larger regional centres, such as Albury, or also Melbourne and Sydney surrounds, collect all recyclables in one bin and sort onsite.”

Eric points to the success of another automated facility in Bulgaria that has chosen to take on a challenging waste stream with no end market for direct remanufacturing in Australia – post-consumer film. Like many ambitious Greeks before him, in 2016 Kostas Ziogas was looking to invest in a growing industry. While many who have safely invested in HDPE, PET and PP could perceive LDPE processing as a risk, Kostas and a team of entrepreneurs put their heads together and established a company in Elin Pelin, Bulgaria.

Dubbed Integra Plastics, the company invested more than $40 million in a prototype plant. In utilising efficient processes and creating higher purities, Integra produces a high-end recycled product as close to virgin material as currently possible.

Eric is inspired by the start-up, which uses Tomra machines and a sorting plant built by STADLER.

Using the STADLER film sorting plant, the shredded material follows a screening process to remove fines and uses ballistic separators to separate the 3D materials.

TOMRA Finder’s near-infrared system takes care of the LDPE clear film and sorts it by polyolefin type and colour transparency – blue, green and red – before the material undergoes washing, drying and regranulation. EREMA extrusion technologies pelletise the flake, which undergoes cutting, venting and melt filtration and can eventually be used to remanufacture new film.

Eric says that while sorting plants are evolving, particularly in Europe, and automation requires larger initial capital investment, the resulting material has higher purity levels.

“The whole ground is shifting on this. An MRF that would have been perfectly capable of making something commercially viable 10 years ago does not work anymore,” he says.

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