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Machinex provides advanced sorting systems to one of UK's most sophisticated waste-to-product facilities

Aerial view of Shanks waste treatment facility in South Kirkby.
Aerial view of Shanks waste treatment facility in South Kirkby.

Shanks Waste Management Ltd recently opened a unique waste treatment facility in South Kirkby, England, for the Wakefield Waste Management district, which will process up to 230,000 tonnes a year of residual waste and recycling from homes and businesses in the area. Machinex has provided two advanced sorting systems for the facility -- which the company calls the most sophisticated waste-to-product facility in the UK, and one that will increase significantly the recycling rate of Wakefield district while diverting around 95% of waste from landfill.

The first Machinex system being employed at Shanks' Wakefield facility is a mixed dry recyclables (MDR) sorting plant that annually segregates approximately 36,000 tonnes of plastic, glass, metal containers, paper and cardboard at a capacity of 19 tonnes per hour. A purity rate of 95% will be achieved by Machinex screens, optical sorting and a glass clean up system, an air capture system for plastic film, ferrous magnets and a non ferrous eddy-current system.

Sorting system processing mixed dry recyclables.

The second system from Machinex segregates a variety of materials from residual waste at 30 tonnes per hour. The main goal of this system is to obtain a final fraction that meets the standards to produce refuse derived fuel (RDF). The priority is to remove RDF contaminants by maximizing organics recovery and ferrous and non-ferrous metals recovery. The organic fraction is segregated from other waste by a vibratory screen and then treated using an autoclave before it is sent to an anaerobic digestion plant. Ferrous, non-ferrous metals, plastic film, paper and plastics can be sorted by a combination of air treatment systems, ballistic separators, optical units, magnets, eddycurrents and other sorting equipment. According to Machinex, flexibility remains an important aspect of this facility, as plant operators can select the most appropriate recyclates to be recovered according to market values and the desired calorific value of the RDF generated.

"I’m extremely proud to say that Machinex admirably distinguished itself in the Shanks Wakefield project," said Jonathan Menard, Project Director at Machinex. "All the Acceptance Tests have been passed and the two systems were commissioned on time. "

Nigel Catling, Capital Infrastructure Director at Shanks commented on the project: "Machinex worked closely with the Shanks team and Wakefield Council to deliver two efficient facilities at South Kirkby. Both of these facilities were swiftly brought into use, delivering good throughputs and quality materials. We are now working on optimising the facilities to fulfill their full potential."

Sorting system processing municipal solid waste.

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