Sorting : STADLER designs and builds new GAIA and IREN sorting plants in Asti and Parma

© Stadler

As the 2030 Agenda targets loom, environmental service companies are increasingly incorporating in their business plans investments in recycling facilities capable of bringing us closer to the zero waste goal by turning it into secondary raw materials that can be returned to the commercial cycle with minimal waste.

With this aim, G.A.I.A. Spa and Iren Ambiente (which holds 45% ownership of G.A.I.A. and provides environmental services to a population of more than 3 million) called on STADLER, the German company specialized in the planning, production and assembly of turnkey recycling and sorting plants, to design and build new recycling plants in Asti and Parma.

The requirements for the two plants were different: sorting of plastic packaging from separate collection in Asti, and sorting of plastic and paper/cardboard in Parma. STADLER’s personalized approach, capable of providing solutions even to changes requested during the construction phase, made the collaboration between the companies a success.

The new sorting plant at the Asti Waste Treatment Center

Inaugurated last October, the new plant for the sorting of plastic and metal packaging from separate waste collection plays an important role in waste management in northern Italy. The result of a 10 million euro investment, it will be able to process 50,000 tons per year of material from separate waste collection. The G.A.I.A. plant will process materials coming from the Asti basin, the Iren Group (Turin, Genoa, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia), Val d'Aosta and others who may request its services.

Once processed and cleaned, the materials coming from the separate collections will be delivered to the National Consortia for the recovery of packaging, which will transform them into secondary raw materials and reintroduce them into the production cycles.

The new plant is equipped with modern technologies in line with the Industry 4.0 objectives of the industrial plan, and the machines support the work of the manual sorting operators, resulting in a high quality product. The plant consists of a feeding and pre-sorting section, a mechanical and optical sorting line, a sorting cabin for manual selection of the bulky products and a storage and baling line.

At the end of the process, the output materials are transparent PET, colored PET, light blue PET, HDPE, PP, Mixed PE+PP, LDPE+PP film, bulky plastics (4 different products), residue, fine residue, non-ferrous metals and ferrous metals.

The new Iren Ambiente plant in Parma

The Parma plant, soon to be completed and inaugurated, is designed to treat two different streams of material from the separate collection of paper and plastic. It is one of the most advanced plants in Italy for sorting paper and cardboard. For this plant, STADLER designed and built two highly integrated sorting lines that achieve a very high spatial efficiency by sharing the baling system.

The plastic sorting line, which has a capacity of 9 t/h, processes PET+HDPE+PP bottles, PE+PP film, bulky plastics, mixed plastic packaging, non-ferrous and ferrous metals, while the paper sorting line, with a capacity of 20 t/h, processes cardboard, mixed paper and deinking.

The two lines have different input areas but share the same output section and baling line. Each line consists of a feed section, a section for mechanical and optical sorting, a sorting cabin for manual sorting of bulky material and a storage and baling line.

"So far, the performance of the two plants in Parma and Asti has lived up to our expectations," said Flaviano Fracaro, CEO of G.A.I.A. and Technical Manager of Iren Ambiente Spa. We hope that in the future they will even exceed them!"