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Metals and Plastics Stream

This system is much more complicated than the paper separation system. The delivered bags are loaded onto a sunken conveyor that is lined with screws which breaks the bags and carries the material up to an elevated garbage sorting station. Non-recyclable materials such as wood and white goods are removed manually from the conveyor and sent directly to shredders and compactors for disposal. The remaining recyclables continue on the conveyor until they reach a powerful electromagnet for ferrous separation. Steel cans and other ferrous metal are removed and dropped into a container, where depending on the market specifications, they can be flattened or shredded before they are baled. The remaining material travels to a disc screen with holes, which removes dirt, broken glass, and other small materials from the feed stream. The material that passes through the screen can be sent for disposal or sent to a trommel to separate a mixed glass product. The materials that pass over the screen are sent to an air classifier that separates the heavy materials (glass) from the lighter materials (aluminum, plastic, and cartons).


The lighter materials from the air classifier are sent to an eddy current separator, which propels the aluminum away from the non-metal containers and directs them to a conveyor that leads to an air knife. The air knife separates the aluminum cans from the aluminum foil and directs each stream to a corresponding bin for compaction. Cartons are separated from the plastics using automated waste sorting technology. Finally, plastic bottles are separated by resin type using automated sorting technology. The sorted PET, HDPE, and colored HDPE are sent to different containers for storage before they are shredded, granulated or perforated before compaction and baling.


Forklifts will be used to move the baled materials to storage or transport areas, and frontend loaders will be used to move loose material. Residue will be left over after processing from contaminants that were mixed in with the recyclables and from some non-recoverable material such as broken glass. The residue will be prepared for landfilling, combustion or composting. 

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