Waste Sorting : STADLER and ZenRobotics build EU's most advanced Materials Recovery Facility

Zen Robotics robot arm sorting heavy material
© Stadler

STADLER and ZenRobotics have built the pioneering new sorting plant with Remeo Oy, a Finnish company specializing in environmental management. STADLER designed the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in collaboration with Remeo and built it, while ZenRobotics supplied AI-based robotics waste sorting technologies. The facility, located in the Greater Helsinki Region in Finland, stands out not only for the state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, cutting-edge processes, and high level of automation, but also for integrating Commercial & Industrial (C&I) and Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste lines in the same plant – an industry first. The facility was completed ahead of schedule, despite the difficulties created by the Covid-19 pandemic – an achievement that is testament to the successful collaboration between Remeo, STADLER and ZenRobotics.

A unique design challenge: two plants in one, high automation

The new Remeo MRF presented unique and complex design challenges for being the first of its kind, combining a C&D plant capable of processing 30 t/h and a C&I plant with 15 t/h capacity, and its high level of automation. Resolving them required the best ingenuity and innovative thinking from Remeo, STADLER and ZenRobotics, as well as an exceptionally close collaboration among the partners.

Close collaboration key to a successful outcome and completion ahead of schedule

The successful outcome of such a unique and complex project lies on the remarkable reciprocal trust and close collaboration between Remeo, STADLER and ZenRobotics – from the design phase right through to completion of the build and installation. The construction process was complicated by the pandemic. In spite of these difficulties, the project was completed three and a half months ahead of schedule.

An important project on a European scale with a huge impact for Finnish waste management

Remeo’s MRF project is unique in Europe as it uses the latest technology and, thanks to its operation, material recovery will play a much greater role than energy recovery for the first time. The annual processing capacity of the facility is a 120,000 tonnes of construction waste and 60,000 tonnes of energy waste produced in commerce and industry. This waste is recycled into high-quality alternatives to virgin materials, giving the waste a new life and reducing the need for incineration.

Remeo MRF will cover more than 30 percent of all waste recycling needs in the Helsinki region in Finland. In doing so, this facility also removes the need to export the waste from Finland as the capacity to recycle waste domestically increases. Remeo’s facility offers effective recycling close to the place of origin of the waste, cutting transport emissions because of the short distances. Due to efficient recycling capabilities, Remeo is also helping its customers to meet the minimum 70 % recycling rate required by law.

The future of circular economy

Modern recycling infrastructure is crucial to enabling a speedy transition to a circular economy. The recycling industry is increasingly looking at advanced technologies to help deal with the constantly rising waste sorting requirements while increasing the top-line. Remeo’s MRF is a prime example of forerunner companies coming together to create effective and innovative solutions that pave the way for the future of waste management.

Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Mr Mika Lintilae cutting the ribbon to officially open Remeos facility picture by Esko Tuomisto, Stadler, ZenRobitics, Remeo Oy, sorting facility
The new Remeo MRF was inaugurated yesterday, 14 February 2022, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by Remeo’s CEO Johan Mild and Business Director Mauri Lielahti. The Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs, Mika Lintillä cut the ribbon, declaring the facility officially open, and highlighted the significant leap forward that the innovative facility constitutes for the Finnish circular economy. - © Stadler