Hündgen Recycles More & Incinerates Less with UniSort

STEINERT NIR Opitical Sorting Tech Boosts Recycling Rate for German Waste Firm

In Swisttal, Germany, waste and recycling firm Hündgen has taken the route of increasing the quality of the secondary raw materials it produces over increasing throughput, with the help of equipment manufacturer, STEINERT.

In Swisttal, Germany, waste and recycling firm Hündgen has taken the route of increasing the quality of the secondary raw materials it produces over increasing throughput, with the help of equipment manufacturer, STEINERT.

Working with STEINERT’s sales manager Sascha Haag, family run the recycling firm’s CEO Christian Hündgen examined the remaining losses from the sorting of lightweight  plastic packaging.

At the manufacturer’s Test Centre in Cologne the material was studied to determine which plastics could be extracted. According go STEINERT Hündgen was impressed by its UniSort Black system, which sorts all black plastics out of the flow of materials. Without this system, the company said that these plastics couldn’t be recycled. The system also sorts plastics which have a NIR-specifiable spectrum (e.g. PE, PP and PS).

“The tests faithfully recreated the conditions at our facility, and thus made the decision easier for us,” commented Hündgen. “Another benefit is that the system supports remote maintenance, which ensures we get rapid assistance when making adjustments.”

This was an important consideration for the family-run company, which processes about 200 tons of waste per day.

Less Residual Waste – More Recycling
In order to prepare materials for recycling, Hündgen separates them according to grain size and puts them through a number of stages, involving processing steps that use overbelt magnets, STEINERT NES eddy current separators and STEINERT NIR sorting equipment.

Until recently, the process ended here and the material left over was used as substitute fuel for thermal recovery, in cement plants, for example. However, Hündgen decided to add another sorting step after testing UniSort Black.

“UniSort Black not only enabled us to offer a more flexible range of services for our customers, but to report higher sorting rates to the operators of the dual recycling system,” he said.

This increased the plastics yield from the residual fraction and allowed the materials to be reintegrated into the material flow and recycled.

“It also makes it easier for us to achieve the contractually agreed-upon sorting rates, to reduce incineration costs and, last but not least, to acquire additional materials by extracting polyolefins (PO) in the form of bottles made of PE and PP,” concluded Hündgen.

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