Sensor-based sorting equipment provider, TOMRA Sorting, has further increased its market share of the UK’s commercial and industrial (C&I) recycling sector following a host of new contract wins.
The company has recently been selected as the technology provider of choice for six of the UK’s most advanced C&I MRFs, which are set to process a combined total of over half a million tonnes (525,000) of C&I waste over the next 12 months.
TOMRA Sorting’s TITECH technology utilises a range of detection techniques to achieve the best results including near infrared (NIR), X-ray transmission (XRT), visual spectrometers (VIS), colour line cameras and metal sensors. The bespoke technology enables maximum value to be extracted from the C&I waste stream, diverting it from landfill and increasing recovery of materials – including plastics, paper, cardboard and film – for re-sale. Whereas manual or semi-automated recovery techniques for C&I waste typically achieve a 10 -20 per cent recovery level, TOMRA’s latest automated technology can help plants recover 70 – 80 per cent of material at purity rates of 95 per cent. Given the rising costs of producing refuse-derived fuel (RDF), the high recovery achieved ensures residue is kept to a minimum.
A range of TITECH sensor-based sorting solutions will be installed in the following C&I MRFs:
• Mid UK Recycling’s plant in Caythorpe, Lincs, which processes 75,000 tonnes of waste annually at a rate of 14tph
• Blakeley’s Waste Management Ltd’s new plant in Wigan, which processes 80,000 tonnes of waste annually at a rate of 15tph
• Devon Contract Waste’s plant in Exeter, which processes 75,000 tonnes annually at a rate of 12tph. This is the second development phase that TOMRA has worked on
• Gaskells Waste Service’s plant in Merseyside, which processes 60,000 tonnes of waste annually at a rate of 10tph
• Weir Waste’s plant in Birmingham, which processes 95,000 tonnes of waste annually at a rate of 25tph
• Spotmix Ltd’s plant in Merseyside, which processes 70,000 tonnes of waste annually at a rate of 12tph
As the composition of C&I waste can vary significantly depending on the type of business in a given catchment area, each of these MRFs has unique requirements and is targeting different fractions depending on end markets. To ensure that the right solutions are in place to achieve the highest possible recovery and purity rates, TOMRA Sorting representatives work closely with customers and their plant builders at the very earliest planning stages for the MRFs.
The typical payback period for a fully automated C&I MRF is 12 months or less. Other benefits of using sensor-based sorting for this complex waste stream include: it eliminates the need for manual picking apart from for quality control so labour costs are reduced; higher throughputs can be maintained and consistent quantity and quality are achievable 24/7; and the equipment requires a much smaller footprint than traditional processes, making it suitable even when space is limited.
Stephen Almond, sales engineer at TOMRA Sorting UK, comments: "The processing of commercial waste is a massive growth area within the UK and it’s such an exciting time to be part of the latest developments in these new plants.
Introducing advanced automated sorting systems for this complex material stream delivers clear commercial, legislative and environmental benefits and these new contracts demonstrate that UK recycling companies are recognising this."