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Fully automated waste sorting plant – The future of recycling?

Stadler is celebrating the win of a prestigious award for its design and manufacture of a highly effective fully automated municipal solid waste (MSW) facility in Norway.

The plant, which is the first of its kind in the world, is located in Oslo, Norway and has an impressive processing capacity of 30t/h of MSW. Completed in just three months, the facility contains 14 NIR units, over 300t of steel and 1300m2 of walkways, covering six floors and reaching up to 15m in height in places.

The high level of automation in the plant means it has only two operating staff to load the waste and to remove the baled materials. The rest of the operation is monitored and controlled by CCTV.

To ensure the plant maintains its efficiency, it relies on the community to sort all of their waste into colour coded bags. Upon receipt at the plant, the NIR units sort according to colour and this is then processed accordingly. Food waste is diverted to an anaerobic digester with the resultant gas being used to fuel the public transport system.

Operated by ROAF, the facility received the Innovation Award at the German-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

Chosen from a field of 12 entrants, the judging panel on the German-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce Business Awards gave the following citation:
“With the building of its world first, fully automated mixed household waste plant, STADLER has shown that even the most complicated sorting processes can be undertaken. With this they have shown a real concern for the environment and, at the same time, have made the working conditions for the staff considerably better.”

The design and manufacture and construction of the plant was carried out on time and on budget, and overseeing the design and commissioning was Ben Eule, Global Technical Manager with Stadler UK.

Endorsing Ben’s work, Trevor Smart, UK Sales Manager for Stadler UK Ltd, said:
“The whole team in Germany and the UK are very proud of this plant and the work Ben has done to ensure its success. It is ground-breaking from a design point of view, and presented many challenges around the full automation of the plant, together with the very tight timeline. Despite these issues, Ben was able to deliver on all levels – we are very lucky to have him based here in the UK and have his expertise available to us.”

Ben, who is based at Stadler in Ashford, Kent, added: “I am delighted for ROAF and Stadler that the innovation involved in developing this plant has been recognised. From a personal point of view, it is rewarding to see the facility working well and for our hard work to be acknowledged.”

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