Waste to Energy

German waste management giants join forces to process hybrid plastics

In a joint procedure, two major German waste management companies intend to convert 200,000 metric tonnes of plastic waste into critical raw material.

DSD and EEW aim to develop a procedure to convert mixed plastics into waste energy.

The Green Dot collection system operator (Duales System Holding GmbH & Co. KG, DSD) and the thermal waste recovery firm (Energy from Waste GmbH, EEW) seek to acquire large amounts of plastic waste for chemical recycling purposes.

The objective is to recycle large quantities of plastics considered ‘unrecyclable’ and typically destined for landfill or incineration.

By the end of 2021, both companies intend to develop a technologically sound as well as economically viable procedure for processing 200,000 metric tonnes of plastic waste per year.

For the novel processing method, plastic residue from the sorting of lightweight packaging, processing residue stemming from the two Green Dot plastic recycling plants as well as mixed plastics will be sourced.

EEW will filter out plastic waste contained in household waste before it is recycled for energy in its plants, thus making these quantities available for chemical recycling. Then, a service provider for DSD and EEW will chemically recycle the previously specified plastic waste via pyrolysis, which refers to the heating of plastics at high temperatures to derive liquid oil.

The hydrocarbon oil derived thus from mixed plastic waste streams would be marketed as a critical raw material, being of import in the production of food grade as well as general high-quality polymers.

Michael Wiener, CEO of DSD, said: "With this joint venture, we are creating a solution for plastic waste which cannot be recycled but which generally end up being incinerated in cement or waste incineration plants. We are complementing our highly developed processes for mechanical recycling with a completely new processing method. This will enable us to offer our customers an even broader range of services in the future. The model developed as part of the joint venture also opens a path to climate-friendly recycling for challenging plastic waste."

Bernard M. Kemper, CEO EEW GmbH, explained: In a nutshell, our joint venture stands for more and better recycling, for which we use our sites and our technical know-how to reach a sustainable circular economy."