Paddles and packaging: Wastech Engineering

Paddles and packaging: Wastech Engineering

Wastech Engineering’s Jeff Goodwin explains how the ATRITOR Turbo Separator can help businesses achieve a food waste recovery rate of 99 per cent.

Growing populations and an associated increase in food consumption is accelerating the organic waste problem in Australia and around the world.

As reported by Waste Management Review in June, many Australian businesses are hesitant to engage in the source separation of food waste.

This is due to a limited number of recycling facilities able to process the recovered organics, together with concerns around the ability to recycle packaging.

With the National Packaging Targets are squarely on the waste industry’s agenda, the ability to effectively separate recyclable packaging from its contents is therefore equally important.

Jeff Goodwin, Wastech Engineering’s National Product Manager Projects, says growing issues around food waste generation, paired with rising landfill restrictions and capacity levels, was the driving factor behind a recent addition to Wastech’s product portfolio.

“Working with UK manufacturer ATRITOR, Wastech has added a range of turbo separators for food de-packaging to our product roster,” Jeff says.

“As the exclusive Australian representative for ATRITOR, Wastech can provide customers with a solution offering a typical food waste recovery rate of 99 per cent for both dry and liquid products.”

Jeff says the high recovery rate makes the Turbo Separator ideally suited for use in product destruction units.

The Turbo Separator range comprises four models designed and engineered to efficiently remove a wide range of products from their packaging.

“Wastech’s distribution range includes the TS1260, TS2096, TS3096 and TS42120 models, with a material dependant separation rate ranging from 600 kilograms an hour to 20,000 kilograms an hour,” Jeff says.

According to Jeff, the equipment ideal for separating out-of-date, out-of-specification or mislabelled products.

“Historically, expired and mislabelled food products were consigned to landfill due to the difficulty of extracting organics from packaging,” Jeff says.

“With the ATRITOR Turbo Separator we can begin shifting that practice.”

Jeff says the Turbo Separator is sufficiently flexible and can de-package a range of products and packaging materials including supermarket waste, tin cans, polymer bottles and soft packaging.

“Additionally, the Turbo Separator is equally at home separating gypsum from the backing paper in plasterboard,” Jeff says.

“The recovered gypsum can be used in agriculture or re-used in plasterboard manufacturing, while the recovered paper can be further recycled.”

Jeff says the Turbo Separator also works for blister packs, sachets, pouches, paper bags, aluminium cans, plastic bottles, plastic drums and TetraPak.

“The only unsuitable application is glass containers or bottles, as the glass shatters and the shards will contaminate the organics,” he explains.

The Turbo Separator combines centrifugal forces, self-generated airflow and mechanical processes to remove organic material from packaging.

Jeff says this allows the recovered materials to be recycled or disposed of correctly.

Packaged materials are fed by an infeed conveyor into the separation chamber, where a number of rotating paddles open up the packaging.

The force of the paddles then creates a squeezing effect, which separates packaging from its contents without destroying the packaging.

Depending on the material, the recovered organics can then be used for animal feed, nutrient-rich compost or anaerobic digestion.

Wastech can supply the Turbo Separator as a complete package, with an infeed hopper and conveyor, separation chamber and outfeed conveyors.

The separator is also delivered with a maintenance access platform and control cabinet.

“The Turbo Separator’s rugged and durable construction, coupled with high product separation rates and economy of operation, is an ideal proposition for all de-packaging applications.”

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