Hündgen Recycles More & Incinerates Less with UniSort

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

STEINERT optical sorting plastic recycling
© Steinert Group

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.

Read More

New Optical Sorting System for Black Plastics from Steinert

Steinert Group has launched its latest optical sorting system, the UniSort BlackEye, aimed at increasing the purity of black polymer fractions.

New STEINERT Sensor Based Sorting for Recycling Metals from Fines

STEINERT has launched a specially designed Fines ISS all-metal recovery system for particles sizes down to 1mm featuring two new technologies.

Sorted: The Comingled Glass Conundrum

The use of comingled recycling collections has risen significantly over recent years. For many materials sorting techniques have proved adept at creating high quality recyclates from these collections. But in the case of glass there have been wide variations in the quality and quantity recovered. However, recent PHD research has identified methods to recover increased high quality volumes of glass from mixed recycling. By Ben Eule