The SORTEX flake sorter accurately produces a quality HDPE natural compound
Viridor, a recycling, renewable energy and waste management company, has invested over £1million in an advanced flake optical sorting station on the HDPE line at the company's polymer recycling facility in Skelmersdale, UK.
The new technology has increased the sites yield of valuable and high quality HDPE 'natural' (blow mould grade) for colour-critical applications.
“The investment in this advanced flake sorting station came as a result of a UK market requirement for a consistent volume of HDPE natural compound,” explained Stuart Kershaw, Trading Sales Manager for Plastics at Viridor. “We are now producing 500 tonnes of the HDPE natural product each month, adding to the volumes of HDPE black and PET clear flake.”
The site at Skelmersdale recycles 3000 tonnes of plastic bottles each month from Viridor’s local authority contracts and other private customers; producing quality plastic pellets and flakes ready for use in remanufacture. The installation of the new technology was completed in early 2014, and Viridor says it will help maintain its position as one of the leading recyclers of plastic bottles in the UK.
“Our latest investment underlines our commitment to quality and innovation in recycling. As a business, Viridor is aiming to reduce export reliance with a focus on providing high quality polymer for use within the demanding UK market. Our continuous supply of HDPE natural is unique within this country,” continued Kershaw.
The new flake sorter centres around two state-of-the-art optical sorters which accurately remove non-natural HDPE flakes; typically between 2mm and 12mm in size, in the HDPE product stream at a throughput rate of 2 tonnes per hour. The equipment produces a high purity natural HDPE and a coloured HDPE that can be compounded into black pellet.
“Advanced recycling facilities such as the plant at Skelmersdale require continuous review to meet the demands of a changing market for quality recyclate products. This new piece of equipment is changing what we do as a business and adding to our product range so that we can flex to meet the needs of our customers,” said Gary Welsh, General Manager at Viridor’s Polymer recycling facility.
Alex Vaks, Sales Engineer at Bühler Ltd, suppliers of the optical sorters, added: “We seamlessly integrated Bühler’s most advanced optical sorting technology into Viridor’s operation, meeting their exacting needs for a highly flexible system. The leading edge optical sorting station is able to cope with dramatic fluctuations in inputs as required; whilst keeping the output consistent.”