Axion ELV Plant
Plastics recycler, Axion Polymers, has invested a further £1 million this year to optimise materials recovery from end-of-life vehicles at its purpose-built plant at Trafford Park, Manchester – one of the most advanced of its type in Europe.
Axion’s in-house engineering team designed, built and now operates the highly-specialised, multi-million pound Shredder Waste Advanced Processing Plant (SWAPP) jointly with S Norton & Co, a UK ferrous and non-ferrous metal recycler.
Opened in January 2011, Axion states the plant is already capable of delivering over 95% recycling and recovery of materials from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), ahead of the 2015 EU ELV recycling and recovery target.
Director, Roger Morton, said: “This latest cash injection is part of on-going efficiency optimisation at the facility, which has an annual 200,000 tonnes capacity. It enables Axion to separate the non-metallic fractions from the equivalent of about 800,000 cars a year.
“Although the operation is still developing, we are already delivering the 95% recycling and recovery target through a combination of plastics recycling, producing materials for the construction industry and fuel to substitute coal,” explained Roger. Plastic concentrate is taken to Axion Polymers’ Salford plant for further processing into a range of plastic products, such as the Axpoly PP51 extruded pellets that go to a wide range of customers, including some in the automotive sector, thereby ‘closing the recycling loop’.
Axion states that the polypropylene recovered from automotive post-consumer waste presents a great opportunity for manufacturers to tap into a stream of truly sustainable materials. Creating new manufactured products using materials resources that are ‘mined’ from closed-loop recycling routes provides a complete ‘cradle-to-grave’ approach for vehicle producers that is both sustainable in the long term and also lower cost.
As well as automotive applications, Axpoly PP51 has potential uses in the utility, construction and wider manufacturing industries.
“Axpoly PP51 is an example of the new recovery technologies and refining techniques we have developed to satisfy the higher 95% target levels. We are seeing increasing interest from other ELV recyclers in using spare capacity when available on the SWAPP facility as the 2015 deadline for the 95% recycling target draws closer,” continued Roger.
Axion works in partnership with Cartakeback.co.uk and has hosted site visits by senior personnel from major European car manufacturers; demonstrating how the SWAPP facility is fulfilling a critical element of producer responsibility while contributing to automotive closed loop recycling.
The European End of Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive aims to reduce the amount of waste produced from vehicles when they are scrapped. Since 2006, the UK and all other EU member states have been expected to reach a national recycling and recovery target of 85%, rising to 95% in 2015.