Following their success at a revolutionary MRF in Cyprus where recyclables were first sorted commercially from black bag waste, TITECH has continued to make strides in mixed waste sensor based sorting technology. Projects have followed in Eastern Europe, the USA, Spain and the UK, in an area that has become the fastest growing sector of the company.
As Jonathan Clarke, UK Managing Director, says: “The TITECH business developed by targeting source segregated waste, so it is fantastic to see that our greatest growth area is now mixed waste. The MRF in Cyprus represented a major step forward for the global recycling industry, and has made Cyprus one of the first countries ever to recover and recycle residual waste on a commercial scale. This example is now being followed across the world with the help of TITECH technology.”
A prime example of how TITECH sensor based sorting technology has been used can be seen at Ecoparc 4 and Vallés Occidental, Spain, which are two of the latest additions to Barcelona’s network of waste treatment facilities.
Ecoparc 4, in the Barcelona municipality of Els Hostelats de Pierola, has a capacity of 300,000 t/year and targets PET, HDPE, mixed plastics, Tetrapak, aluminium, ferrous metal and paper from the mixed waste stream. 10 TITECH Autosort systems are installed in total. Four of these are employed on the 2D fraction, specifically targeting paper. The 3D fraction also passes through four systems to separate plastics and non-plastics, with two further systems separating PET and HDPE.
Vallés Occidental, in the municipality of Vacarisses, can process up to 245,000 t/year and uses 6 TITECH Autosort units to recover PET, clean and coloured HDPE, Tetrapak and mixed plastics.
These new developments have allowed the area to make significant changes to the way in which MSW is treated: for example, the new Vallés Occidental facility will enable the closure and recovery of the nearby Coll Cardus controlled landfill site. The new facility is therefore making a major contribution to the goal of zero waste to landfill.
The Ecoparc 4 facility has been designed to accommodate variations in the composition of municipal waste, due to the progressive implementation of separate collection of the organic fraction. One quarter of its capacity can be targeted at the treatment of organic waste.
Ecoparc 4 and Vallés Occidental are based on the same waste treatment principles. Material entering the two facilities first undergoes a pretreatment stage, whereby it is mechanically sorted and any oversize objects such as cardboard, metal and plastic films are manually removed. After passing through bag splitters, the material is then sorted by trommels into different sized fractions, allowing recyclables to be targeted and separated.
TITECH’s developments in sorting mixed MSW have been possible thanks to the lessons learned from the household waste sorting trial that the company conducted two years ago. The trial was carried out on residual municipal waste from a town in Germany with a good recycling record. The aim was to determine whether increased quantities of recyclable materials could be recovered, and whether the recovered materials were present at a high enough quality and quantity to be commercially viable. The trial proved that there is far more value to be derived from waste than previously thought possible – and that recyclable materials can be extracted from mixed municipal waste using existing techniques.
Clarke concludes: “This really does prove that sensor based sorting technology is capable of delivering real benefits for countries that have only mixed waste collections. We have had a huge take-up in this sector, proving that TITECH technology can accurately and reliably sort black bag waste as well as source separated recyclables.”