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Balcones and CP Group partner on extensive single-stream retrofit

New equipment to improve fiber purity and throughput while decreasing maintenance

Balcones and CP Group partner on extensive  single-stream retrofit

Balcones Resources, based out of Austin, Texas, has partnered with CP Group of San Diego, California to upgrade their single-stream residential and commercial material recovery facility. The 100,000 square foot facility was originally installed in 2012. Changing market conditions, rising labour costs and new technology were the main motivators for Balcones to undertake a large retrofit.  

"Balcones is committed to creating and operating recycling programs that produce positive environmental and financial impacts. These programs must endure the test of time and market changes," said Kerry Getter, Balcones CEO. 

In 2018, Balcones committed to working with CP Group on a system retrofit. The retrofit gave Balcones a competitive edge, increased throughput, decreased operating costs, and improved fibre recovery and purity. The collaborative effort between Balcones and CP enabled the companies to analyze and test several scenarios and determine the correct design arrangement and use of optical sorters.   

"After a lengthy project analysis, we decided to work with CP Group because their success in the marketplace, advanced technology and experienced team gave us confidence in our investment. MSS demonstrated our material and proved the results we needed to achieve to make the investment. We are already seeing those results at our facility," said Getter.  

According to CP, at the heart of Balcones upgrade are three MSS CIRRUS FiberMax optical sorters. (MSS is the optical sorting division of CP Group.) MSS FiberMax optical sorters run at 1,000 feet per minute on 112-inch wide belts using near-infrared technology to clean the fibre streams with both positive and negative sorting. 

The focus of the new FiberMax system for Balcones has been the removal of fugitive plastics and other non-conforming items from the paper stream. This creates cleaner material which in turn makes a more valuable product.  

The Balcones retrofit also includes a new 4-deck CP Glass Breaker screen to remove glass and fines, a 140-inch wide CP AntiWrap Screen, CP's newest fibre screen which separates large fibre from other materials, and a 140-inch wide CPScreen to separate small mixed paper. 

The new glass breaker was implemented to increase the recovery of glass and eliminate disc wear. The fibre screens were upgraded in order to increase material recovery while greatly reducing the labour required to clean the screens due to anti-wrapping capabilities.  

The equipment upgrade also came with new software to enable Balcones to better understand their production through quantified data. Through the use of an integrated SCADA package Balcones can track live production on their balers, including daily material totals, as well as inbound and outbound material volumes on each line.

"Balcones really pushed us to offer the very best in technology that would serve them for many years to come," commented Branden Sidwell, CP Sales Engineer. 

"Working with the Balcones team has been a real pleasure. As operators and marketers of their material, they really know their numbers. When it comes to MRF design you have to know your numbers in order to create the right solution. Balcones made it easy for us. We're looking forward to continued work with them." 

Balcones Resources began operations in 1994 and has grown into one of the top 50 recyclers in North America. With more than 200 employees across three locations, Balcones is a recycling partner for municipalities, multi-tenant facilities, corporate campuses, manufacturing facilities and distribution centres.