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Electric-powered handlers ideal fit for sorting at Newport energy-from-waste facility in Minnesota

GRE Newport uses two 2100-SE electric-powered handlers to sort refuse, which is shredded and used as fuel to create electricity.
GRE Newport uses two 2100-SE electric-powered handlers to sort refuse, which is shredded and used as fuel to create electricity.

Builtrite Handlers & Attachments recently installed two new, model 2100-SE handlers at the Ramsey/Washington Recovery Facility located in Newport, Minnesota.

The facility, which was set to close in 2015, was purchased by the Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy Board (R&E Board) and then re-started operations at the end of 2015. To operate the reopened facility, Ramsey/Washington commissioned GRE Newport Services, a subsidiary of Great River Energy (GRE), which owns another large waste-to-energy facility in Elk River, Minnesota.

Over the last year, approximately 70 employees at the Ramsey/Washington Recovery Facility have processed about 375,000 tons of MSW, removing recyclables and creating a shredded, burnable feedstock that is used as fuel for generating electricity at two nearby waste-to-energy facilities, operated by Xcel Energy.

Solid waste produced by businesses and households in Ramsey and Washington counties is delivered to the Newport facility. Material is sorted and shredded to specifications and then hauled for use as feedstock by Xcel Energy, at their waste-to-energy power plants in Red Wing and Mankato, Minnesota. Using materials prepared at Newport, Xcel Energy produces enough electricity yearly to serve more than 22,000 homes in the region.

Stationary electric handlers ideal for sorting MSW

In 2016, GRE Newport’s two new stationary electric-powered handlers were installed as replacements for older Builtrite 2100 handlers that the facility had been using for over a decade, prior to 2015.

“Our machines are there to pull non-combustibles and oversize materials out of the waste stream,” explains Uwe Kausch, Builtrite Handlers & Attachments. “GRE Newport knows our machines provide longevity, precision handling and are comfortable to operate. On the new machines, Newport has been particularly impressed with our updated electronic controls, which provide very precise handling of MSW materials.”

The new, customized 2100 SEs at Newport are powered remotely from the ground and include 30-foot material handler booms and free-hanging 1/5-cord butt style grapples for moving material. For operator comfort, both units include pressurized cabs with air/heat, CD and radio, and for visibility, they use 4-foot cab risers.

At Newport’s request, the hydraulics on both of the new machines were configured to operate slower than usual, to prevent operators from damaging the expensive conveyors which move waste at slow speed from the tipping floor to where it is shredded and prepared for transport to Xcel Energy. GRE Newport also requested that both machines were painted custom orange and black, rather than Builtrite’s traditional construction yellow-gray.

Benefits that GRE Newport has seen with the use of their 2100-SE handlers, according to Kausch, include no diesel exhaust, no motor oil changes or air filters required, no rubber tires to replace and less damage caused to tipping floors.

“Overall, there is simply more uptime for Newport, due to the reliability of our 2100-SE handlers,” says Kausch. “We are proud to be a partner in the process of diverting waste from landfill and providing sustainable energy to the region.” RPN

This article originally appeared in Recycling Product News, Volume 24, Number 8.

Company info

530 Recycle Center Drive
Two Harbors, MN
US, 55616


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