Waste Management In Action

Maximising landfill life: Wastech Engineering

As the exclusive Australian distributor of Flexus Balasystem’s, Wastech Engineering is working to optimise sustainable landfill management.

In the spring of 1997, Flexus Balasystem was asked to install its unique integrated bailing and wrapping machine in a small town on the Mediterranean coast of France.

At the time, Adge produced an average of 25 tonnes of municipal solid waste each day, with daily peaks of over 150 tonnes in the summer months.

The goal of the municipality was to manage waste in an environmentally safe way, while not disturbing the regions booming tourism industry. The project was a success, with similar installations now complete in over 53 countries.

While Flexus Balasystem’s technology has advanced significantly since 1997, the ethos of the company remains the same: building waste handling technology that produces positive environmental outcomes.

The unique Flexus round-bale technology was pioneered in Sweden, with several hundreds of installations world-wide. The system provides an optimum solution for the handling and disposal of municipal solid waste, offering significant advantages over traditional bailing in terms of cost efficiency and environmental safety.

To capitalise on these advantages and fill an identified gap in the Australian market, Wastech Engineering recently developed an exclusive distribution partnership with Flexus Balasystem.

According to Chris Andel, Wastech National Product Manager – Projects, the partnership will provide Australia’s waste sector with access to sustainable landfill solutions.

He explains that as the country begins to grapple with declining landfill space, the distribution deal could not have come at a better time.

“By utilising the Flexus system, landfill densities are radically improved and day-to-day landfill problems such as wind control and litter are eliminated. Odours are also controlled, and vermin issues resolved,” Andel says.

The Flexus system is a complete heavy-duty unit for bailing and wrapping, storing and transporting compressed waste in round bales, allowing the material to be buried or stored for incineration at waste-to-energy facilities.

“Material is rolled or milled and naturally compressed with no external pressure, with the natural filling effect allowing desired density to be achieved,” Andel says.

With a processing capacity of up to 30 tonnes per hour, the Flexus system has a helicopter-style wrapping component, with bale ejection at either side of the machine. Finished bales are then ejected onto a bale conveyor that holds up to three finished bales at once.

“As an all in one system, the Flexus is cost effective, with a single machine fulfilling all tasks along the chain,” Andel says.

“The result is significant waste volume reduction and no leachate during round baling. Because of the compressed nature of the bale chemistry, contents are rendered biologically inert, leaving no methanogenic activity inside the bale.”

This is a particularly salient fact, Andel explains, as state governments across Australia attempt to reduce the harmful effects of landfill methane gas via reduced organics to landfill targets.

“By preventing oxygen and waste from penetrating the waste, Flexus bailing and wrapping systems halt the biochemical process,” he says.

In a study conducted by the University of Lund in Sweden, no considerable temperature increase or methane production was observed from the bales after a year, with most biological and oxidation reactions virtually stopped.

Andel adds that the system has a small footprint and low civil costs, with compacted and wrapped bales sealed in modular cells that can be stored on site.

The Flexus is particularly suited to municipal solid waste landfill remediation, he says, while also offering the ability to optimise landfill space at functioning sites. Andel explains that the unit can increase usable landfill volume by up to an extra 40 per cent.

Standard bale weights range from 600-1600 kilograms, with rapid handling and full manoeuvrability.

The system can be designed for stationary installation and be fully integrated into waste treatment plants.

The installation is designed to meet the demands and conditions of each specific case, Andel says. He adds that the mobile baling system can be easily transported from site to site.

“This provides operators with the flexibility to handle both smaller and larger baling commissions,” he says.

The system is available in three different models, with each designed to provide clients with many years of reliable service.

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