Wastech maximises waste sorting and recovery

waste sorting

It’s critical that only waste that can’t be recovered or recycled ends up in landfill. Pre-sorting of waste is increasingly taking place at transfer stations, and Wastech has the technology to support customers to maximise efficient sorting and recovery.

As a society, we are still heavily reliant on landfill. That’s not a particularly controversial perspective, but the question is how councils and commercial operators will deal with this. 

Transfer stations are an intermediate step where domestic waste collection vehicles deposit their waste before it is aggregated to maximise transport efficiencies to a processing facility or landfill, often hundreds of kilometres away. Transfer stations are also where residents can take waste unsuitable for their weekly or fortnightly bin collections. 

Wastech specialises in improving and maximising waste transport’s effectiveness. Garreth Dorey, General Manager of Sales and Marketing, is working with local councils and commercial operators to design, build and install best-practice transfer stations.

“The majority of capital cities around Australia are reliant on landfills in regional areas,” says Garreth. “That’s a lot of trucks on the road moving waste around, creating a significant carbon footprint. 

“The Sydney basin is likely to be out of putrescible landfill capacity by the end of the decade. As a result, transfer stations will play an important role in waste transport, whether for waste companies, residents, or commercial enterprises.” 

Wastech’s role 

From concept to completion, Wastech works hand-in-hand with its customers. When it comes to transfer stations, the team will design and manufacture a unique system built for the specific needs of its client. Wastech implements a quality-focused manufacturing model, enabling the client to reduce wastage and work towards the shared goal of environmental sustainability and commercial viability.

“While ensuring that we deliver the most efficient transfer station from a transport perspective, we also design the facility so that our customers can maximise resource recovery from waste deposited at the transfer station,” says Garreth. “One of the primary goals is to recover as much of the valuable commodities coming in.”

In most cases, Wastech can help its clients select the best processes and equipment for recovery from the waste being received. That means the smallest volume of materials end up in landfills. 

“There are all sorts of people and groups entering transfer stations,” he says. “It’s not just the recycling and garbage trucks coming through. We also have residents, businesses, and local councils dropping off waste and recycling. With all these facilities, Wastech can assist in the design of the transfer station to extract maximum resources.”

Part of the job for Wastech is to assess the waste coming in to work out what can be recovered. There are many opportunities for finding value, and Wastech helps its clients maximise their financial returns from their transfer stations.

“We provide a one-stop approach to waste and resource management, from collection to end-use,” says Garreth. “The recovered material focus could be timber, food waste, concrete – the possibilities are vast.”

waste sorting
Pre-sorting of waste is increasingly taking place at transfer stations.

What happens next?

Wastech offers a range of solutions that go beyond the sorting of materials. Its design engineering services work to design a technologically advanced transfer station.

“We work to provide opportunities beyond just the design,” says Garreth. “We can provide a range of solutions, including pre-shredders. That means the transfer station can extract the commodity out of the materials by shredding and screening the materials. This is great for extracting timber, ferrous and nonferrous metals, and plastics, among other things.”

Some clients prefer a turnkey solution, where everything is prepared for them. Garreth explains that Wastech can build a solution that includes all the technology a client needs.

“When we design a turnkey solution, we will set it up so it has everything the client could possibly need,” he says. “Wastech can build the transfer station to include a tipping floor, waste handling equipment, shredders, trommels, conveyors, and picking stations.”

New tech drives progress

One thing that has become more common is the use of optical and robotic sorters. Garreth has found that it can improve both efficiency and health and safety outcomes for the transfer station operator.

“We’re consulting more on technology that avoids the use of manual intervention,” he says. “There has been more interest in robotic picking and sorting. Once waste is removed from the tipping floor to a sorting line, robots pick and sort the valuable resources from everything else. It’s an area of growing interest to operators who are focused on minimising labour costs while maximising recovery rates.”

When it comes time to move the residual waste or recovered products, another area of value creation that Wastech can provide is the use of S4000 and S8000 compactors. This powerful technology allows for faster loading and higher-density payloads in transfer trailers.

“We can pack 60 to 65 cubic metres into a trailer, and fast,” Garreth says. “We compared the loading and unloading time it takes for a walking floor by normal methods to a compactor trailer and the additional payload. With a walking floor, it can take anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes to fill up a trailer and then about the same time to unload it at the other end. If we use the S4000 or S8000 compactor, we can load a trailer in about 25 minutes and push all the waste out in about five minutes. We can get 20-30 per cent greater payload for the same trailer volume.

“The compactor head pushing 4-8 cubic metres of waste into a trailer with every stroke dramatically improves existing manual systems. 

“Compactor trailers mean that there are less trucks on the road and quicker turnarounds for those trucks,” he says. “That’s saving our customers money.”  

For more information, visit: www.wastech.com.au

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