Waste Management In Action

Plastic separation the aim of the game

Plastic separation the aim of the game

Maintaining a clean product is important for waste operators to increase quality, price and site safety. WMR speaks with ScreenPod about how its AirVac Range utilises the latest technology to remove plastics from feed stocks.  

From the first of July, Victoria’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has enforced the biggest change in environmental laws since its inception 50 years ago. The changes are in response to a public independent inquiry conducted five years ago, which gave the EPA more powers and tools to prevent environmental risks, as well as sanction polluters.

Matt d’Abbs, Director, Regulatory Approach & Capability, EPA Victoria, says Victorians wanted a more preventative approach to environmental protection.

“The focus on preventing harm requires us to rethink the way harm arises,” he says. “This means starting with the source, in particular the activities that people engage in that create a risk of harm occurring.”

Simon Humphris, Product Manager at CEA, the Australian distributor for Screenpod, says keeping a clean site and removing loose plastics is more important than ever.

“With these new rules, there’s a lot more onus and responsibility going on the processing facility to remove plastic from the feedstocks,” he says. “Among other things it’s about cleaning up feedstock to make it saleable and being at a higher quality.”

Feedstocks free of plastics allow a higher price for the clean product, but also reduce the risk of stockpiling.

The ‘Hazardous Waste Stockpiles and Approved Long Term Storages in Australia’ report, which was released in 2018, found that an estimated 6.2 million tonnes of hazardous waste could be found in stockpiles around Australia.

Addressing stockpiles has now become a priority for many waste businesses, with operators looking for products that can support waste stockpiling reduction.

ScreenPod’s AirVac Range is a compact diesel or electric vacuum system. The product acts as an ‘industrial vacuum,’ removing light plastic from feed stocks, such as green waste or mulch, as well as oversize and heavy material, such as recycled aggregates and skip waste rejects.

The ScreenPod AirVac uses a vacuum head fitted over a stockpile conveyor belt or screen box. A suction fan then transfers light plastic contaminate through a flexible hose and into a waste skip or cage.

“The airvac range consists of the mobile unit and 400mm hosing to the head, which can be mounted on a vast arrangement of extraction conveyors,” Simon says. “With a great deal of adjustment and air speeds, the unit is capable of removing unwanted plastic in finished product.”

The vacuum takes around 10 minutes to set up on site, with universal fit conveyor attachments. Simon says every site is different and adapting the solution to its environment is essential.

“The product can be set up on a conveyor belt that’s, for example, 50 metres long and put springboards all the way along it,” he says. “You can manually attach them to apply it to any kind of set up.”

An on-board electrical control panel, and infinitely variable vacuum control and choice of vacuum drive systems, further add to the flexibility of the product.

Vibrating rollers can be added to any conveyor, making it easier for the vacuum head to lift the material as it bounces and separates on the belt.

“The Airknife works perfectly with the AirVac. The knife sits at the end of the belt to catch the unwanted lights that fly off, contributing to messy sites,” Simon says.

Screenpod’s Typhoon conveyor system can accompany the AirVac has a low-level infeed position, and an all- in- one package with two 30kW suction units, and one 15kW Airknife blower unit.

Positive air pressure allows the light contamination to sit on top of the feedstock the vacuum then has more surface area of plastic to be effectively removed.

As Simon adds, the AirVac and Air knife have the capacity to complement one another on inside stationary projects or on mobile units in the field.

The belt has a fast on-site setup time and can be shipped inside a container.

“This Screenpod series can remove light plastic from green waste, fast and efficiently,” Simon says. “The demand for this product exists and won’t go away.”

Previous ArticleNext Article