Recycling Product News Logo

Meeting new challenges at the MRF

Industry veteran adam Lovewell talks about the roots of challenges facing material recovery facilities and the path forward

The MRF installation crew at SANCO Resource Recovery in Lemon Grove, California.
The MRF installation crew at SANCO Resource Recovery in Lemon Grove, California.

Company info

360 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Norwalk, CT
US, 06854

Website:
vdrs.com

Read more

This past summer, Van Dyk Recycling Solutions sponsored and hosted a webinar titled "MRFs in Crisis! Where do we go from here?" During the webinar, Van Dyk's sales manager and process Engineer, Adam Lovewell, along with colleague Mark Neitzey, focused on the topic of how recycling businesses have been struggling to deal with China's changes in import policy. According to Lovewell and Neitzey, the so-called "China crisis" has exposed serious issues throughout the recycling industry and "we have hit a critical point where owners and operators need to take a hard look at their equipment's ability to handle changes in the stream."

Lovewell says the topics focused on in their webinar were similar to the conversations being had around the industry on a regular basis this year, including at the first MRF summit, held at Wastecon 2018 in Nashville. He says the conversation centres around broad questions including: What can the recycling industry do considering the challenging global climate we find ourselves in? Where can materials go? And what does the future look like for paper, plastics and other recyclables?

Roots of a crisis
Lovewell says that in the simplest terms, the current crisis in the global materials recovery industry stems from China's import policies which have come into place since 2017. 

"The MRF crisis has everything to do with our inability to ship material to China," explains Lovewell. "The latest stage (called BlueSky) which began in the Spring of 2018, where they completely shut off North American exports for a period of time, is what started the crisis, because nobody really knew where to go with their material - especially fibre - everyone has been frantically trying to find buyers.

"And then there are the restrictions that China has put on quality. They've now said that recyclers can start shipping material to them but that it has to meet a very high quality specification. For fibre, the specification is at half of one percent contamination levels. It's not economically possible to really reach that quality for medium to large MRFs. Volumes of material are just too high."

In particular, the specifications for fibre, including mixed paper, newspaper and cardboard are extremely challenging to meet. "If MRFs want to be shipping end product to China, they have to slow down their throughput, and add sorters and equipment," he says.

Plus, due to the risk of shipping material and it not being accepted at Chinese ports, there is a high potential to have ships turned around, with product rejected and sent back to its source. At about an average of $10,000 per container to have material re-routed back to North America, it's very costly. "And then you still have to do something with material when it comes back," says Lovewell.

On the line at JP Mascaro & Sons, Total Recycle, in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania.

Focus on fibre
With single-stream MRFs, the majority of plastics processed are either PVC or HDPE. "For much of this material, there are plants here in the United States and there's capacity domestically," explains Lovewell. "A lot of MRF plastic is easily processed domestically, which is similar to nonferrous and ferrous metals. It's really paper that's the big issue.

"There's not as much of a domestic market for it," he continues. "But that's changing as well. There's a couple of plants that are opening up recently, and there's movement in the United States to open up more markets for paper. 
"But it's going to take time. You can't just do it overnight. If you want to put in a new paper mill, it takes probably 18 months from the time that a project is given the go-ahead. It takes time to do the design, get the funding and the permitting, and to construct the infrastructure."

Inbound contamination
According to Lovewell, a major factor that has increasingly played a part in creating challenges at the MRF, especially since the new Chinese regulations have been put in place, is inbound contamination. Meeting standards of 95 percent pure fibre is achievable, but with the average quality of the inbound material being so poor, it makes it extremely difficult. 

"We've seen upwards of between 15 and 20 percent inbound contamination in many regions," he says. 

Inbound recyclable material contamination has increased since the advent of single-stream systems, where fibre and containers are collected in one bin. This contamination can range from irregular items that need to be manually removed, such as diapers, to flexible packaging, such as plastic bags, to organics and food waste - especially in mixed waste streams. Lovewell says that while contamination of plastics and metals does occur, it is not as serious an issue, "because metals go into smelting equipment and all the plastics go through bottle washes and such to be cleaned. But it's really hard to take dirty fibre, clean it and get a clean recycled product from it."

 He continues, "Flexible packaging is probably the biggest contributor to contamination. It looks like paper, it acts like paper. And because of the density of the material, it's extremely hard to remove from the system manually and requires a large amount of automation.

He adds that so many bags end up at the recycling facility, in large part, because it's a means of transporting material from inside a house to the bin outside. This plastic ends up at the MRF, causes equipment problems, and is extremely hard to recover.

The other large contingent of contaminants that end up in MRF systems are really anything that people think is recyclable that is actually not. "There's really only a couple of things that are truly supposed to be included in most recycling programs: plastic containers one through seven, aluminum and tin cans, and cardboard and paper," Lovewell says. "MRFs get a lot of plastic bags, and other miscellaneous plastic items that don't fall into any of the categories of the one through seven. They just end up in the system."

He says MRFs and other recycling facilities regularly also receive holiday lights and extension cords, or hoses that end up getting wrapped up in equipment, jamming systems and causing downtime and increasing the potential for injuries to personnel at the plant. Plus, there are large volumes of e-waste, including batteries, as well as items such as small propane cylinders, both of which can result in explosions, endangering the lives of MRF workers and causing damage to expensive infrastructure.

"Outside of the contamination issue with film bags, it's really about a misunderstanding of what is recyclable and what is not. You could probably create a list of a million things that show up at a MRF that are just not recyclable or included in the program."

Clean paper comes off the non-wrapping screen at Total Recycle.

Education is the first step
The path toward a solution to current challenges at the MRF with respect to contamination involves educating about required changes at the source and at the curb, combined with improving personnel and technology that can more effectively separate materials at the MRF. 

"I would say education is the start," says Lovewell. "Right now, there's literally no education in a lot of areas of the U.S. There are certain areas that are doing a good job. Minneapolis does a really good job at educating the folks there about what is recyclable. So their actual inbound contamination rates are some of the lowest in the U.S., at about five to seven percent on the inbound compared to 15 to 20 percent in some other places in the country.

"We also have systems in Canada, and what we've seen is that contamination levels vary there just like they do here in the United States. We have plants there that have 15 to 20 percent contamination on the inbound as well." 

In some places, however, like British Columbia, Lovewell says recyclers and municipalities are doing a particularly good job. "I think they have a better education program," he says. "I think there's more programs in place there that do a better job at educating people and enforcing some of the recycling rules. But overall, I wouldn't say that Canada is any further ahead than the U.S. with respect to curbing contamination levels. I would say Europe is far more advanced than both the U.S. and Canada when it comes to recycling. It's a little bit difficult to understand why they're so far ahead, but it might just be as simple as people caring a little bit more about what they're doing, and they're making more conscious decisions about what they're putting in the bin and where they're taking it."

"I've been living in Chicago for the last three years," he continues. "I've never received any information about recycling. My family lives in Maryland and they've had the same recycling bin for the last seven or eight years, and it still includes instructions that read; ‘Put your plastic bags in the recycling bin.' They've never received a flyer, they've never received an update or any information about guidelines for recycling."

"So education is what I say is step one and is definitely the biggest thing that needs to be worked on across the U.S. and Canada."

Inside the facility at SANCO Resource Recovery, California.

Sharing the burden with MRFs
According to Lovewell, recycling plants are having to spend great amounts of money to upgrade their systems, to improve separation in order to stay in business. And while the volume of clean material coming into systems (especially fibre) as a percentage is decreasing, the percentage of unclean incoming material is increasing. This is combined with disappearing markets, including China. 

"Many plants are struggling to make money - because they're getting hit on all ends. They spend money and make less," says Lovewell, adding that he agrees that increased taxes designed to support recycling facilities would help, and would be warranted.

"People pay $150 or $200 for cable every month, and don't really blink an eye at it," he says. "It costs an average of about $15 to $20 a month for trash. So, if that was increased by $10, for example, it does not seem like much, compared to $200 for cable."

Lovewell says he hopes such changes will be part of the solution going forward, but it would be challenging. "One difficulty is that there are contracts already set up and in place. Many areas have long-term contracts with municipalities for both hauling and processing, so you can't just change the contract. You have a 10-year contract that says that this is what you're charging. If you're a MRF, you can't say, "Residents and businesses need to start paying more to help effectively process materials." 

He continues, "It's hard to change. It's hard to start telling people that they need to pay more - it's just bad for business. So there's a political game involved. And then the question is: How does it change? Would it be a national change? Would it be a federal tax that would support recycling and solid waste efforts or would it be a state, provincial or local tax?" 

Lovewell is reluctant to say it, but adds that the only way to do curb contamination may be to penalize waste generators. "It's either you recycle correctly or you get penalized for it," he says. "And really, the reason why some of the increase in contamination has occurred is that advancement in technology and the growth of single-stream systems has actually hurt us all at the curb.
"Sorting has been lost at the curb to some degree, with unrecyclables not being seen until it ends up at the plant. And recycling facilities are processing so much material that it's really hard to audit every single truck that's coming through, nearly impossible to do. So it's tough."

Van Dyk’s LUBO non-wrapping 440 Starscreen features specially designed shafts and stars that resist wrapping, which dramatically reduces time wasted on excessive cleaning and maintenance, and helps to achieve high-purity output.

Advancing Technology
According to Lovewell, the other part of the equation to solving the current MRF crisis, beyond improved education efforts, is developments in recycling equipment and technology. He points to advances in screening and sorting technology to separate paper (2D) from containers (3D), as central to building success at the MRF going forward.

"Since there's so much plastic film in our systems, the old screening technology just doesn't work effectively," he says. "Film wraps in the screen, or it travels over a screen with paper, and you can't just do a simple 2D paper separation from 3D (containers).

"One of the big advances that we came out with in late 2015, which we have deployed in many of our facilities, is our non-wrapping screen. Traditional screening utilized a certain screen design to separate paper from containers. Over the years, as the volume of film and long stringy items has increased in the inbound stream, those screens have seen a lot of issues. They get wrapped with that material, and it causes significant wear on the stars (screen hole configuration).

"So we developed a non-wrapping screen that eliminates the wrapping of this plastic film, which has helped increase the quality of material, including fibre, being produced, and has saved a significant amount of time on labour required for cleaning screens and changing stars.

"The latest screen technology has also helped increase throughput at some facilities where we've done retrofits, where they have had to slow down due to fibre quality requirements. They've been able to bring their throughput back up with these new screens."

Positive Sorting for the future
With the new MRFs that Van Dyk is currently building and planning to build, the concept of positive sorting is key.

"Positive sorting is a name we've coined to describe the way that we are looking at processing single-stream material today and in the future," says Lovewell. "A traditional sorting system makes what is basically a rough guess based on density and shape of the materials. Traditional screens do a decent separation of 2D from 3D, but since the screens can't make an intelligent decision, other than with 2D/3D material, anything that's 2D, which includes a lot of your flexible packaging, including plastic bags, goes with the paper and contaminates the paper.

"With positive sorting, the idea is to utilize advancements in optical sorting technology to positively recover fibre so that an intelligent decision is made based on the actual commodity. Currently, we use a lot of optical sorters on the container line to recover PET and HDPE, and the technology is effectively making a positive decision. We can see up 98 percent quality on those recovered products before any kind of manual sorting is done."

He says this compares to using traditional screening technology for fibre, with which, before manual sorting is done, MRFs might see upward of 15 percent contamination in their product. To get that down to the "China-grade specification" of half a percent, a facility would probably need 50 people on the sorting line.

"Using optical sorting and today's smarter technology to recover fibre will get you closer to meeting those quality specifications," Lovewell says. "And it also allows material recovery facilities to adapt to the future. 
"As the inbound composition continues to change, MRFs can upgrade software and technology inside an optical sorter. Effectively, this makes a smarter system that will be able to adapt to the changing composition and market demand of the future." RPN

This article was originally published in Recycling Product News, October, 2018, Volume 26, Number 7.

More from Paper Recycling

New Poll: Despite uncertainty over recycling, consumers aren't backing down

While headlines over the past few years might lead some to believe otherwise, the reality is that Americans say they are still recycling at the same rate, despite having little confidence that their recyclables actually get recycled. A national poll conducted by Mason-Dixon on behalf of the U.S. based Carton Council showed that 85% of respondents report they recycle.

An eye on optical sorting

In June, RPN had the opportunity to visit Canada's only turnkey MRF technology provider, Machinex, at the company's headquarters in Plessisville, Quebec. The company is very busy, with multiple MRF design/installation and retrofit projects across Canada currently and through 2020 - which will mark Machinex' 50th anniversary in manufacturing.

merQbiz introduces BaleVision - a solution for optimizing paper recovery

merQbiz, a solutions and analytics provider for buyers and sellers in the recovered paper (RCP) industry, introduces BaleVision, providing companies actionable insights into their RCP quality. Combining a leading quality assessment tool with comprehensive data, BaleVision helps RCP buyers maximize supplier performance and sellers earn a fair price for their product.

​Republic Services' new Texas MRF putting community education at the forefront

Republic Services is tackling head-on the crisis of overly contaminated waste streams in today's MRFs. With current residential contamination levels reaching as high as 30% or more, it is critical that processors send a clear message to the community about what is accepted in the recycling program, while also employing the most advanced, flexible technology on the market to separate this evolving stream.

2019 China Recovered Paper Market & Policy Advisory Report available

A new report from NPC Partners is now available in the U.S. and Europe through Atlanta-based paper recycling consulting firm Moore & Associates. NPC Partners is a global consultancy based in Hong Kong with offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Atlanta. NPC Partners is committed to assisting the pulp and paper industry innovate and grow based on winning strategies and new market insights.

Editor in the field: From the factory floor to the MRF – in Quebec

June 12-13, Machinex and the Carton Council of Canada invited Recycling Product News to Quebec. The first stop was a tour of the Machinex manufacturing facility and HQ in Plessisville, about 2 hours East of Montreal. Secondly, the Carton Council of Canada and Machinex hosted customers and press for a tour of Sani-Éco's MRF in Granby, Quebec where Machinex recently installed the company's latest Mach Hyspec optical sorting technology, along with a pair of SamurAI robotic sorting units for handling both cartons and PET/HDPE plastic. 

Indonesia to use ISRI Specs to ease restrictions on recovered paper imports

Last month, in an effort to crack down on illegal shipments, the Indonesian government imposed new regulations on imports of recovered paper. The rules included a 0.5% contamination limit and 100% pre-shipment inspections, including separating containers into bales. The government has now announced that it will instead use the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) specifications for recovered paper which set a standard of 1-2% for prohibitives and 3-4% for outhrows. It is also using the specifications to define its use of the word "homogenous" in describing the condition of bales.

Area Recycling MRF upgrade complete

After a two-month construction and installation period, Area Recycling launched its new state of the art material recovery system this week. The facility expansion and equipment upgrade represents a $3.5 million dollar business investment for PDC, Area Recycling's parent company, based out of Illinois.

New report sheds light on Chinese recovered paper markets

Moore & Associates, a paper recycling consulting firm based in Atlanta, recently announced the availability of the 2019 China Recovered Paper Market & Policy Advisory Report.  From Hong Kong-based NPC Partners (a premier and innovative consultancy firm for the pulp & paper industry), the new report presents a view from inside China, including insights and analysis on China's new recovered paper policies, markets and global impacts.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

City of Lethbridge opens new MRF featuring Machinex sorting system

The City of Lethbridge, Alberta held the grand opening of their new single-stream material recovery facility on May 8. According to Machinex, their sorting system at the facility, commissioned in mid-April, will allow the City to process residential recycling materials generated by a new blue cart program that is currently being set up.

Sani-É​co partners with Machinex on major MRF upgrade

Machinex attended the official ceremony this week marking the major upgrade of the Sani-Éco material recovery facility located in Granby, Province of Quebec, Canada. The owners of the recycling management company reiterated their trust in Machinex, which provided them their sorting center more than 18 years ago. This modernization will allow an increase of their current sorting capacity in addition to bringing a direct improvement to the quality of the fibers produced.

​BHS launches Max-AI AQC-C sorting system

Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) has launched the Max-AI AQC-C, a solution that is comprised of Max-AI VIS (for Visual Identification System) and at least one collaborative robot (CoBot). CoBots are designed to work safely alongside people which allows the AQC-C to be quickly and easily placed into existing Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs). BHS launched the original Max-AI AQC (Autonomous Quality Control) at WasteExpo in 2017. At this year's show, our next generation AQC will be on display along with the AQC-C.  

RePower South starts up advanced recycling system using BHS technology

RePower South (RPS) has begun processing material at the company's new recycling and recovery facility in Berkeley County, South Carolina. The recycling system, provided by Eugene, Oregon-based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS), is one of the most advanced in the world. The highly automated system is capable of processing more than 50-tons-per-hour (tph) of mixed waste to recover recyclables and produce a fuel feedstock. 

​Vilar Guillén: Evolving from a focus on local recycling to world markets

Only a few years ago the standards for recycled paper and board in China were not high. As a massive importer, China is now known to reject entire container loads based upon one inferior bale. Responding to this reality, Valorizaciones Vilar Guillén SL (V V G) set out to streamline their entire business to deliver against tight specifications, earning respect and repeat business as a result.

​Dem-Con MRF retrofit to be complete this summer with addition of MSS CIRRUS optical sorters

Between summer 2017 and 2018, Dem-Con Materials Recovery in Shakopee, Minnesota retrofitted their single-stream MRF with three new MSS CIRRUS optical sorters for fiber from CP Group. The units increase recovery, improve product quality and reduce sorter headcount on the fiber QC.  A fourth MSS CIRRUS sensor is currently in production and will install this summer.

​Canada Fibers awarded contracts to design, build and operate two technologically advanced recycling facilities

Canada Fibers Limited (CFL) has been awarded two contracts to design, build and operate advanced single-stream post-consumer Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Peel, Ontario.  The Company is constructing an 80 thousand square foot greenfield facility in Winnipeg and is retrofitting the Region of Peel's existing MRF.  Both projects involve advancements to recovery technologies in response to increasingly rigorous quality standards from industries utilizing post-consumer recyclable materials. 

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

Machinex and Canada Fibers partnership to result in two of the most technologically advanced single-stream facilities in North America

Toronto-based Canada Fibers Ltd. (CFL) is building two single-stream recycling facilities in 2019 that will include the most advanced, high-tech fibre and plastics sorting and recovery systems in Canada. In Winnipeg, Manitoba, a completely new 30-tonnes-per-hour facility (approximately 80,000 square feet) is currently under construction and scheduled to open in the fall. In the Region of Peel, Ontario, the existing Peel Integrated Waste Management Facility MRF, owned by the Region, will be retrofitted for 31.5-tonnes-per-hour capacity, with the updated facility (approximately 85,000 square feet) scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2020. 

Both good and bad news for OCC and recovered paper exporters to start 2019

The good news for recovered paper exporters as the calendar flipped to another new year was China's issuance of almost six million short tons worth of import licenses in December. The first batch of permits issued by China's Ministry of the Environment, covering about 5.5 million tons, was more than double the amount of recovered paper allowed by China's first batch a year earlier.

Balcones Resources celebrates 25 years in business

Balcones Resources celebrated its 25th anniversary in business this month, growing from a small Austin-based paper recycler to a comprehensive environmental services company with facilities in Austin, Dallas and Little Rock. Balcones marked the milestone with a reception featuring a presentation of $25,000 in total donations to five Austin-area environmental organizations: EcoRise, Hill Country Conservancy, Keep Austin Beautiful, Shoal Creek Conservancy and Waller Creek Conservancy.

​TOMRA Sorting Recycling adds to product support team in North America

TOMRA Sorting Recycling has announced two additions to their North America product support team. Sean Hyacinth has been added as a field service engineer for TOMRA optical sorting equipment, while Kevin Javier Montalvo assumes the newly created position of customer project manager, recycling. Both team members will work directly with TOMRA dealers and customers to strengthen equipment service and project management throughout North America. 

​Wolfgang Schiller appointed CEO of ZenRobotics

ZenRobotics Ltd. has appointed Wolfgang Schiller as the company's new CEO, effective immediately. Prior to ZenRobotics, Mr. Schiller was the Vice President Electronics Industry at KUKA AG, a leading supplier of intelligent automation solutions. According to ZenRobotics, as CEO, Schiller will be responsible for further developing ZenRobotics' business and accelerating the uptake of intelligent robots in waste management. 

SamurAI sorting robot finding success in the recycling industry

In the spring of 2018, Plessisville, Quebec-based Machinex introduced its new SamurAI sorting robot, which, according to the manufacturer, has since generated a lot of industry interest. Nearly six months after its launch, the response of the market has been very positive and nine robots have been sold to date. The first two SamurAI in Canada have just been installed in Quebec while six more robots will be installed by next year in Canadian sorting centers. Moreover, the company says they continue to have regular requests from customers who are greatly interested in this cutting-edge technology.

Greif to acquire Caraustar Industries

Greif, Inc., a global provider of industrial packaging products and services, announced December 20 that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Caraustar Industries, Inc., the leading recycled paperboard and packaging solutions company, from an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, in a cash transaction valued at $1.8 billion. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of calendar year 2019, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory clearances. 

​ISRI's 2018 Industry Yearbook confirms recycling industry resilience in year of change

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) recently announced the release of its seventh annual Recycling Industry Yearbook, providing the most up-to-date information and statistics about the U.S. recycling industry and global scrap marketplace. With a greater spotlight on the industry in the wake of rising trade protectionism around the globe, the publication provides the most comprehensive analysis of where the industry stands based on the most current data compared to previous years. It will also serves as a baseline for years to come based on the new global market realities.

REDWAVE report provides insight on the current state of the European paper recycling industry

The purpose of paper recycling is to produce high quality recycled paper, responding to the high-quality specifications required by paper consumers either from the graphic, hygiene or packaging sectors. In consequence, any collection scheme should be designed in a way to provide grades of paper for recycling adapted to the requirements of high value recycling, according to the EN 643 to the paper industry, either directly or after sorting. (EN 643 is the European List of Standard Grades of Paper and Board for Recycling.)

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Mondi partnerships focused on waste diversion and plastics recycling initiatives

Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper has partnered with One Young World, the global forum for young leaders, on the Lead2030 initiative - a competition to find youth-led practical solutions to drive progress on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mondi has committed $50,000 to fund a project that will make a tangible contribution to SDG12 ‘Responsible Consumption and Production'. 

​Highlights from the 19th annual Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference NA

This year's 19th edition of the Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference North America, held in Chicago from October 17 through 19th and produced by the Recycling Today Media Group, was a very informative, well organized and well attended event, and a good reflection of the mixed feelings currently being expressed by the industry with respect to the state of paper and plastics recycling. On the technology side of the industry, things are largely positive. Business is good. From the latest plastics additive and stabilizing technologies designed to enhance the physical properties and thereby the quality of recycled plastics for compounders and other reprocessors, to the significant advances in sorting, screening and other equipment being put forward by leading manufacturers, it is clear that there is solid demand, and excellent solutions available to help profitably create better quality recycled materials from challenging input streams. The advances in this sector are in fact rapid and ongoing. The latest robotic and optical sorting, coupled with artificially intelligent (AI) "learning" technologies, are particularly impressive - making it difficult for anyone to deny that high-tech materials sorting has a huge role to play in the future of this industry.

​ReWall provides expanded end market for food and beverage cartons in Colorado

The ReWall Company, which turns recycled food and beverage cartons into environmentally friendly building materials, is set to open a new facility in Colorado that will expand end markets for recycled cartons in the western United States. ReWall makes high-performance, sustainable building and construction materials out of recycled food and beverage cartons through a proprietary process that uses no chemicals or water. It takes about 400 cartons to produce one sheet of ReWall's hail-resistant roof cover board.

MRF Operations Forum 2018

Recycling Today Media Group's 2018 Paper & Recycling Conference North America, the 19th edition, opened officially Wednesday, October 17 in Chicago, following the third annual day-long MRF Operations Forum dedicated to best practices at material recovery facilities. Jim Keefe, RT's Publisher opened the 2018 MRF Operations Forum Tuesday morning by welcoming approximately 100 attendees and introducing the first session: "Dynamic MRF Operations". The title is an appropriate one -- reflecting the overall theme for the day: with changing incoming recycling streams combined with changing global end markets, MRF operations need to be dynamic - adapting to changes and changing the way they operate - to maintain profitability. 

Axxess controls from EPAX designed to improve the safe use of waste compactors and balers

Epax Systems, a specialist in waste management with more than 30 years of experience, recently developed a new method to control industrial compactors and balers called Axxess controls.  According to the company, over the last decade, safety and security have become concerns for multi-use property managers who are seeking to meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration's requirements for controlling balers and compactors in their facilities. Since 2017, clients of Epax Systems, inc.  have increasingly communicated the need to improve on their traditional key switch systems, which requires employees to use an on/off key switch to control their compactor or cardboard baler.

CP Anti-Wrap Screen introduced

CP Group has introduced the CP Anti-Wrap Screen, the California-based recycling equipment manufacturer's second new screen of 2018. The new CP Anti-Wrap Screen accurately separates newsprint and large fiber from material streams by using high-amplitude elliptical discs to agitate material.  

TOMRA Sorting Recycling's new E-book addresses need to improve deinking recycling rates

TOMRA Sorting Recycling has published a new e-book providing advice for businesses who sort paper and cardboard for deinking and recycling. The new online publication addresses the intensifying commercial and regulatory pressures for higher recovery rates of deinked pulp and the fact that meeting these demands will require new technical solutions. The e-book introduces an exceptionally effective new solution.

NRT adds Max-AI technology to optical sorters

National Recovery Technologies (NRT) has integrated the company's NRT SpydIR® optical sorter with Max-AI® technology, creating a revolutionary new sorter with detection abilities unmatched in today's optical sorter market, according to the company. NRT's SpydIR technology uses near infrared light (NIR) detection to identify plastics, paper, wood and other materials by material type. Max-AI technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify materials using a camera and neural network algorithm (NN). The NRT SpydIR with Max-AI optical sorter employs both detection technologies to create an optical sorter that is able to combine the information from each technology to deliver a unique sorting capability.  

Binder+Co introduces unique sorting for light packaging; first machine operating in U.S.

According to Austria-based Binder+Co, due to China's recently imposed scrap import restrictions, concerns are growing in Europe and in North America about how to cope with plastic waste. The industry is sceptical about reuse, because the required quality of secondary raw material is, for the most part, not ensured, and the use of plastic waste as alternate fuel in incinerators makes too little use of plastic as a valuable secondary raw material.

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more