Class instead of mass -- UniSort System helps recycler achieve the highest level of purity

Sorting depths rather than high throughput rates ensure customer loyalty for German waste company

Christian Hündgen Plant manager and third generation employee.
Christian Hündgen Plant manager and third generation employee.

Christian Hündgen is convinced that the more secondary raw materials are fed back into the production of products, the better. That’s why the family-run enterprise focuses on achieving as high a level of material purity as possible when sorting waste. “We concentrate more on the sorting depths than on high throughput rates. It ensures our customers in our region will remain loyal to us,” says Hündgen.

To achieve this goal, Christian Hündgen worked together with Sales Manager Sascha Haag from STEINERT, the specialist for magnet and sensor sorting systems, to carefully examine the remaining losses from the sorting of lightweight plastic packaging. Whenever waste cannot be avoided, it’s best to recycle it for the production process. And if material cannot be processed, it should be incinerated to generate energy. To date, the materials left over after sorting the contents of Germany’s “yellow bag” recycling containers have been used as high-calorie substitute fuels for thermal recovery. However, the waste management sector wanted to find out how additional materials could be sorted out for use in production.

STEINERT, too, is looking for ways to increase the recycling rates of its customers and reduce their costs. As a result, STEINERT decided to economically sort out black plastics, which the waste disposal sector has wanted to do for some time.

In the next step, experts at the Cologne Test Centre examined the material to be sorted from the Hündgen company in order to determine which valuable plastics could be extracted from the remaining lightweight packaging. Hündgen was impressed by the UniSort Black system, which sorts all black plastics out of the flow of materials. Without this system, these plastics couldn’t be recycled. As another bonus, the system sorts out plastics that have a NIR-specifiable spectrum (e.g. PE, PP and PS). “The experiments at the test centre confirmed our purchasing decision,” says Hündgen. “The tests faithfully recreated the conditions at our facility, and thus made the decision easier for us. Another benefit is that the system supports remote maintenance, which ensures we get rapid assistance when making adjustments.” This is an important consideration for the family-run company, which processes about 200 tons of waste per day.

A family-run technology leader

It’s only logical that the family-run business decided to purchase a UniSort Black system. A glance at the company’s history reveals that Hündgen has always been a technology leader with an in-depth understanding of the market. Hündgen has been a pioneer of the recycling economy ever since Germany introduced its “green dot” recycling programme in the early 1990s. In a recycling economy, raw materials are completely integrated back into the manufacturing process once a product’s service life is over. “We don’t simply react to new legislation, but are instead proactive and prepared for any changes that might occur,” says Christian Hündgen about his company’s development. “We are working with associations, cooperating with universities and serving as a project partner for research institutes so that we can find out about future developments early on and participate in them.”

Hündgen is a medium-sized enterprise with 120 employees. The company has continuously evolved and adapted itself to market requirements ever since Anna and Peter Hündgen founded it as a freight-forwarding business in 1949. After initially helping to replenish companies’ supplies in the wake of World War II, Hündgen began to operate gravel pits. When the gravel pits were converted into landfills, the family adapted itself to the changed market requirements by getting involved in waste disposal.

Around 140 trucks arrive at the company’s facility every day. These trucks bring around 52,000 tons of lightweight packaging waste and 30,000 tons of commercial waste to the plant every year. From this waste, Hündgens produces 50,000 tons of substitute fuel annually. The company also provides other services, such as the pressing of films, paper and plastics and the collection of waste wood, garden waste, road sweepings and construction waste. The company also has a fleet of more than 20 vehicles for its container services.


Reducing incineration costs, increasing recycling rates and contract security

The UniSort Black for sorting the problematic remaining fraction of lightweight packaging, which consists of a mixture of black and dark plastics as well as other plastics that have a NIR-specifiable spectrum (PE, PP, PS)
The UniSort Black for sorting the problematic remaining fraction of lightweight packaging, which consists of a mixture of black and dark plastics as well as other plastics that have a NIR-specifiable spectrum (PE, PP, PS)

In order to prepare materials for recycling, Hündgen separates them according to grain size. The fraction of material to be sorted with grain sizes of 60–200 mm has the greatest sorting depth. The materials go through a number of stages, involving processing steps that use overbelt magnets, STEINERT NES eddy current separators and STEINERT NIR sorting equipment. Until recently, the process ended here and the material left over was used as substitute fuel for thermal recovery, in cement plants, for example. However, Hündgen decided to add another sorting step after testing UniSort Black.

“UniSort Black not only enabled us to offer a more flexible range of services for our customers, but to report higher sorting rates to the operators of the dual recycling system,” says Hündgen.

This increased the plastics yield from the residual fraction and allowed the materials to be reintegrated into the material flow and recycled. “It also makes it easier for us to achieve the contractually agreed-upon sorting rates, to reduce incineration costs and, last but not least, to acquire additional materials by extracting polyolefins (PO) in the form of bottles made of PE and PP,” says Christian Hündgen.

Company Info

  • Steinert US

    285 Shorland Drive
    Walton , KY
    US , 41094

    STEINERT is the global leader in separation technology solutions for the mining, scrap, waste and recycling industries. Manufacturing a complete line of magnetic and sensor-sorting equipment, it provides full solutions designed to separate and recover a wide range of materials. Engineering electromagnetic drums, eddy current separators, and sorting systems based on induction, X-Ray, and NIR, STEINERT is the only full range industry supplier with more than 125 years of expertise and global customer service.

    Read more

Related Products

Latest News

Tags
Glass Recycling
Paper Recycling
Plastics Recycling
Solid Waste

Keeping on top of safety in today’s MRF environment

The safety team at Rumpke, Ohio.

Material recovery facilities are a particularly challenging environment when it comes to safety. There are workers, management and visitors on the floor, on ladders, on structural catwalks and on equipment. People are constantly interacting with a range of heavy-duty moving vehicles, including wheel loaders, forklifts and other material handlers, as well as machinery designed specifically to convey, separate, bale, crush, screen, shred and grind. All of this machinery, driven by electricity, hydraulics, motors or engines has the potential to be hazardous, as do the materials being handled - including everything from refrigerators and C&D materials to used needles, batteries and aerosol cans. 

Read More

Tags
Plastics Recycling

Vecoplan supports recycling of "ghost nets" recovered from seas

The international recycling company Tönsmeier became a partner of WWF Deutschland (World Wide Fund for Nature in Germany) in September 2015, and since then has been working to rid the Baltic Sea of ‘ghost nets', i.e. abandoned fishing nets made of plastic. The environmentally-friendly recycling of these polypropylene and polyamide ghost nets is being tested - so Vecoplan AG was brought in to create an optimum process for transporting, processing and recycling the salvaged material - and the results of initial tests have been positive.

Read More

Tags
Plastics Recycling

Recycling instructions added on major water brands

Nestlé Waters North America, one of the nation's leading beverage manufacturers, announced today that it has begun adding the clear and consistent How2Recyleinstruction to the labels on half-liter bottles of all its major U.S. brands. This includes its purified water brand Nestlé Pure Life as well as its regional spring water brands, Poland Spring, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Zephyrhills, Ozarka and Arrowhead.   

Read More

Tags
Metals Recycling

MetalX plans scrap facility in northwest Ohio

On the heels of last month's acquisition of M&K Metal Processors in Delta, Ohio, MetalX announced that it plans to invest $35 million to build a greenfield, state-of-the-art scrap processing plant in Delta, Ohio. The company intends to develop its new facility on a 60-acre site across the street from North Star BlueScope's flat-rolled steel mill.

Read More

Tags
C&D Recycling

​New Compact Crusher Range to be Unveiled at Steinexpo 2017

McCloskey's new I34 Impactors are designed for compactness and high mobility, capable of moving while crushing in small spaces. The lines' small footprint (less than 2.5 m wide) is uniquely suited to the demolition and asphalt recycling industry, aggregates and smaller scale construction projects, and for easy transport from site to site.

PETERBOROUGH, ON -July 28, 2017 - McCloskey International's expanding crusher line now includes compact crushers, which will make their worldwide debut in Europe's largest basalt quarry at Steinexpo 2017, held from August 31 - September 2, 2017 in Homburg/Nieder-Ofleiden, Germany. Situated in a 1400m2 stand in Demo Area C, Stand C17, the position will allow visitors to witness the power of McCloskey equipment in action, as well as explore new products on the stand.

Read More

Tags
Metals Recycling
Paper Recycling
Plastics Recycling

​Recyclers to look at present and prepare for future at Annual Commodities Roundtable

(Washington, D.C.) - The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI), the Voice of the Recycling Industry™, is once again hosting its annual Commodities Roundtable Forum, September 6-8, 2017, in Chicago. The once a year event is a must-attend for all involved in the trade of scrap commodities, from processors to brokers to buyers. It provides the most comprehensive view of what is happening across a wide range of recycled commodities including ferrous and nonferrous metals, plastics, and the key trends impacting the $117 billion scrap recycling industry.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

GreenMantra Receives $2.2 Million in Funding for Polystyrene CleanTech Innovation From Sustainable Development Technology Canada

GreenMantra Technologies, a rapidly growing clean technology company that produces high-value polymers from waste plastics, will receive $2.2 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to be used toward construction of a demonstration plant that will convert waste polystyrene into modified styrenic polymers for use in inks, foam insulation and other applications. GreenMantra team, local Members of Parliament Bryan May and Marwan Tabbara, and the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Staples Canada releases Q1 2017 sustainability achievements

Staples Canada has released its first quarter sustainability update and environmental achievements. Highlights of the report include steady growth for many in-store recycling initiatives, including battery and writing instruments programs. "Our recycling programs and sustainability initiatives have started the year off on a strong note," said Leigh Pearson, director of facilities, environment and procurement at Staples Canada. "We are always looking for ways to help our customers and associates make a positive impact on the environment."

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Walmart Foundation announces new grants available for Canadian organizations focused on reducing food waste

The Walmart Foundation has announced that it is making $1.87 million CAD ($1.5 million USD) available to fund proposals from eligible non-profit organizations working to reduce food waste in Canada. The Walmart Foundation is seeking proposals from qualified organizations that have experience in formulating, proposing, and implementing food waste reduction efforts. Requests between $250,000 and $1,000,000 (USD) will be considered. 

Read More

Tags
Industry News

SWANA Publishes New Composting Operations Safety Tips

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has release a new installment of its "Five to Stay Alive" series that features safety tips for composting operations employees. Like many aspects of solid waste management, composting operations involve physical labor, the use of heavy machinery, and a dynamic work environment. These factors offer the potential for serious injury or fatality if proper safety precautions are not followed.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Industry Collaboration Delivers More Than $80,000 for Recycling Education Grants

The Recycling Partnership announced the recipients of its Steve Thompson Memorial Education Grants program to bring more than 50 recycling professionals from across the U.S. to Minneapolis for the 2017 Resource Recycling Conference to further their recycling education. At the end of 2016, The Recycling Partnership released its 2016 State of Curbside report, identifying the key attributes of the highest-performing recycling programs in the U.S. The single attribute found in 100 percent of those communities was engagement in "public action," where local program staff were actively managing their programs. In other words, recycling professionals are the key to better program performance.

Read More

Tags
Organics Recycling
Wood Recycling

​Rotochopper announces Generation 2 Colorizer

Rotochopper's Generation 2 Colorizer builds on the success of the original patent by increasing throughput capacity without sacrificing single-pass coverage in mulch colouring applications.

Rotochopper has announced the launch of their Generation 2 Colorizer. The Generation 2 Colorizer builds on the success of the original Rotochopper patent by increasing throughput capacity without sacrificing single-pass coverage. The original Colorizer patent gives Rotochopper grinders the exclusive advantage of injecting colourant directly in the grinding chamber, using the force of the grinding process to evenly coat all mulch particles.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Charleston county awards new MRF contract to MACHINEX

Ground has broken on Palmetto Commerce Parkway to build the MRF in North Charleston, South Carolina. Machinex is proud to have been chosen to provide this turnkey, single-stream system that will be in operation by late summer of 2018. With a capacity of 25 TPH, the 57,000 square-foot facility will receive more than 50,000 tons per year of recyclables from Charleston County curbside collection. For the past two years, the county has been shipping their recyclables to Horry County for processing while they have been planning for this state-of-the-art recycling center.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Making Denver One of the Greatest Recycling Cities in the U.S.

How to make a great recycling city even better? That was the question Denver Public Works took on this year with The Recycling Partnership, a national nonprofit organization that applies corporate partner funding to improve the recycling system in cities and towns across the nation, thus increasing supplies of clean materials for manufacturing. Over the next three months, The Recycling Partnership will work with Denver Public Works to increase the city's already notable ability to recover materials. Denver's residential recycling program is already outperforming the national average in terms of quality of material collected, but there is more material to be recovered.

Read More

Tags
Fleets & Technology

Pioneer Offers Longest, Most Comprehensive Tarping System Warranty

Pioneer the automated tarping systems supplier for the waste, recycling and construction industries, has extended the warranty on new models of its flagship Rack ‘n Pinion tarping system to five years, a new industry standard.  The non-prorated warranty covers the entire system,except the tarp, making it the most comprehensive warranty of any tarping system on the market today.

Read More

Tags
Solid Waste
Organics Recycling

OPTIMIZING A SUPERIOR SLUDGE SYSTEM SOLUTION

In the Wastewater treatment industry, removing harmful waste and rendering it safe for reuse or final disposal in landfills, composting or farm field applications is paramount. A key element in the wastewater treatment process is the Belt Press, which is used to dewater sludge and change it from a liquid to a solid.

Given today's demanding wastewater treatment regulatory landscape, proper handling of sludge is a very important component of the design and operation of any size of wastewater treatment plant (W.W.T.P.) municipality. The ultimate mission of any such plant is to separate solids from water, and to disinfect both to different degrees by removing organic and inorganic contaminants−which may be hazardous or toxic to humans or have detrimental effects on the environment.

Read More

Tags
Fleets & Technology

​Waste industry expert joins New Way's McLaughlin team

SCRANTON, IOWA - They say "If you don't measure it, you can't manage it." These are words that solid waste and recycling collections expert Don Ross has come to live by. With over 30 years of industry experience, Ross has dedicated his work to advancing the science of waste collection to increase efficiencies and improve safety. In a move that has caught the industry's attention, Don Ross recently joined the New Way team.

Read More