At the Morschheim site in Germany, Veolia Umweltservice West GmbH operates a highly efficient sorting facility for post-consumer plastic films. Crucial to ensuring the best possible output quality in homogenous LDPE film is a Lindner-Recyclingtech Micromat 2000 BW shredder. This innovative machine also regulates the quantity of material and creates the perfect conditions for optical sorting by feeding the optical sorting system with the particles it needs.
Veolia Environnement has made it its business to handle resources responsibly. The French environmental solution specialist is now expanding its manifold activities in particular in the field of plastics recycling – a key issue for the future. In November 2017 the company took over Just Kunststoffe GmbH in Morschheim, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany: The group subsidiary Veolia Umweltservice West GmbH acquired a state-of-the-art pre-treatment and sorting facility for plastic film, which was upgraded to the latest technology at the beginning of last year.
According to the Veolia Group’s growth plans for 2017, annual sales in the plastics recycling segment are expected to increase fivefold – from around €200 million to approximately €1 billion. There is a spirit of optimism and willingness to invest in the circular economy. According to market observers, the industry in general is booming and it is receiving additional impetus from the EU’s circular economy package and plastic strategy. For example, there is a need to stop discharging plastic into the environment, stop landfilling or simply incinerating recyclable plastics and create more recycling opportunities instead. EU Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermanns warns that in 2050 there could be more plastic particles than fish in the world’s oceans, pointing to the catastrophic consequences for the ecosystem if action is not finally taken. As consumption and waste volumes are expected to increase, more processing capacity will be needed for post-consumer plastics.
Mixed LDPE film as input material and homogenous LDPE film in A4 size after shredding and sorting
At the Veolia Umweltservice West GmbH site in Morschheim, over 6,000 tons of commercially produced LDPE film waste arrive annually for sorting. The Micromat 2000 BW proves to be a very important system component here – innovative, powerful and highly productive while at the same time cost-efficient and therefore economical. The shredding performance of the tried-and-tested Lindner model series is key to ensuring that very high sorting qualities can be achieved in the downstream automatic sorting process with NIR equipment from Pellenc Sorting Technology. The result: homogenous low-density polyethylene film (LDPE), dry, uncontaminated, free from unshreddables, foreign objects and other affixed materials (chemicals, oils, organic components, material residues, sand, stones etc.).
Various buyers in the plastics processing industry use LDPE film to produce new products, for example shopping bags or rubbish collection bags. For ideal sorting results, the shredder discharge material, which is directly fed onto the sorting line, must be shredded to approximately the size of an A4 sheet. ‘A different output size would have a negative impact on sorting quality,’ says Timm Just, responsible for the ‘Plastics Purchasing’ unit at Veolia Umweltservice West GmbH.
The Micromat BW is our latest model and was specifically developed as a bale opener for the dosed feeding of plastics such as film for automatic sorting systems,’ explains Stefan Scheiflinger-Ehrenwerth, Product Manager at Lindner. He emphasises that especially in plastics recycling, the shredder should not ‘only’ shred, but also perfectly dose the shredded material in order to optimally feed the subsequent automatic NIR sorting equipment. The Micromat BW therefore also acts as a dosing system.
And all this with consistently low energy consumption. Veolia Umweltservice West GmbH could not have made a better choice. The compact and stable single-shaft shredder can handle up to four tons per hour. Depending on the requirements and feed material, higher throughput rates are also possible. The Micromat 2000 BW shredder with a 132-kW motor and 105 rotations per minute is ideally tailored to the needs of recycling companies and waste recyclers with medium-sized waste streams.
In accordance with operational requirements, the robust shredder’s cutting system was equipped with 116 x 116 mm square cutters specially developed for this model series. The Micromat BW always produces an optimum particle output, which is essential for efficient optical sorting. Otherwise, parameters would have to be constantly adjusted. At Veolia Umweltservice West GmbH, the feed material is precisely and consistently shredded to approximately a DIN A4 particle size. As with all Lindner model series, the Micromat’s cutters can also be changed quickly and easily. Furthermore, the cutters and counter knives are extremely wear-resistant. The machine’s maintenance costs very little and can be conducted within normal maintenance schedules causing only short downtimes. Experience has shown that most maintenance work can be carried out by the company itself.
Since the very beginning Timm Just and his team have been completely satisfied with the Micromat 2000 BW: ‘The machine runs very reliably. The output film quality and therefore the LDPE film’s resale value have increased significantly. As a result, plastics recycling is a sustainable, future-oriented solution. To protect the environment, the climate and resources, the circular economy must have a future and has to be further developed and promoted. Lindner has been committed to this cause for decades and is actively and dynamically shaping the future. True to the proverb: ‘We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.’