Waste sorting

Open-air exhibition area demonstration stand Kölsch

Waste processing can only be economically and environmentally sustainable if the flows of waste containing potentially valuable substances are sorted. Clear waste sorting is essential for effective recycling. That is because consumers sort their waste only very generally at best, separating packaging, paper and glass from residual waste, for example.

This separation is absolutely vital for subsequent material processing, as it protects valuable substances against the kind of contamination that can make recycling impossible. In some cases, it is possible to downcycle material. This means turning input material into a lower-value substance.

Sorting systems for a truly circular economy

The focus of politicians in Berlin, Brussels and many other capitals, however, is on high-value recycling. This can be seen in the EU’s Circular Economy Package and new regulations for packaging and commercial waste in Germany. A truly circular economy should aim to decouple economic growth and prosperity from the consumption of resources and reduce CO2 emissions, thereby maintaining living standards. The kind of material-specific waste sorting this requires is not feasible for households and businesses.

It therefore requires efficient and effective sorting systems. These machines are capable of separating even the tiniest particles from the rest of the material flow. Modern scrap sorting systems, for example, can detect and sort minute particles of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. In the waste glass and plastic sectors, sensor-aided waste sorting can help create much more homogeneous waste flows that allow significantly better recycling.

Modern technology for the circular economy at RecyclingAKTIV

Visitors to RecyclingAKTIV will be able to observe our exhibitors’ latest separating systems live in action. Across the unique outdoor exhibition space in Karlsruhe, these companies’ experts will show you what these systems are capable of. Come to RecyclingAKTIV and find the best technology for a sustainable circular economy.

Metal separators for ferrous and non-ferrous metals

Experts usually recommend separating metals from waste flows. That is because metals are valuable and perfectly suited for recycling. Separating them requires a good metal separator. Our exhibitors will demonstrate the latest models at RecyclingAKTIV in Karlsruhe.

Overbelt magnetic separators – For when quantity has a quality of its own

The term ferrous comes from the Latin “ferrum” meaning iron, and refers to metals like iron and steel that are particularly easy to separate due to their magnetic properties. An overbelt magnetic separator is the perfect solution for businesses that want to sort large amounts of scrap iron and steel. A powerful magnet hangs over the conveyor belt and attracts pieces of metal measuring over ten millimetres in diameter. This makes it the ideal tool for separating larger pieces of metal.

The operating efficiency of an overbelt magnetic separator depends on a range of factors. Provided that it is installed correctly and able to unleash its full power, it can separate up to 90% of all ferrous metals. Come to RecyclingAKTIV in Karlsruhe and find out more from our expert exhibitors.

Magnetic drums for ferrous metals

Much smaller pieces of metal can be separated using magnetic drums. The waste containing the metal flows on a conveyor belt beneath the rotating drum. This drum effectively separates the waste by attracting the ferrous metal components.

Our exhibitors have a wide range of magnetic drums to meet your individual requirements. From cost-effective models that are still powerful enough to separate most ferrous components to electromagnetic drums with strong and controllable magnetic fields, you will find the right equipment for you at RecyclingAKTIV.

Magnetic head pulleys – The solution for very fine ferrous metal particles

Magnetic head pulleys are especially well suited to separating large to very small ferrous metal components. As with the magnetic drum, the waste flows along a conveyor belt. Here though, the head pulley is magnetic and separates the valuable metals from the rest of the waste flow. As the metals travel over the magnetic head pulley, it also separates small and low-magnetic components that would not be attracted by a magnetic drum.

It is also possible to combine magnetic drums and magnetic head pulleys in a single system to maximise your ferrous metal yield. The exhibitors at RecyclingAKTIV will be happy to advise you on the right combination of metal separators.

Eddy current separators for non-ferrous metals

Non-ferrous metals are not magnetic, at least not in theory. Eddy current separators change this for a short period of time and eject the non-ferrous metals from the flow of waste. To do so, the eddy current separator generates an induction field.

Separating non-ferrous metals is important. Firstly, metals like aluminium, copper and brass are highly valuable, and represent a significant source of revenue for recycling companies. Secondly, operators require waste flows with a high level of purity. This means that aluminium locks need to be removed from old glass, for example, before the glassworks can melt down the secondary raw material to produce new glass. Valuable non-ferrous metals can also be found in the clinker from waste incineration plants. These are particularly valuable, as the thermal processing cleanses the metals of any organic impurities.

RecyclingAKTIV will feature leading manufacturers of eddy current separators. The latest models are capable of generating extremely powerful magnetic fields, allowing them to remove tiny or low-magnetic non-ferrous metal particles from the waste flow.

Furthermore, installing an eddy current separator requires you to bear a number of factors in mind, such as the flight path of the non-ferrous metals. This flight path must be calculated precisely to ensure that the non-ferrous metals are separated effectively. This depends on the waste that you wish to separate. Aluminium drinks cans, for example, have a different flight path to copper wires.

If you need advice, come to RecyclingAKTIV in Karlsruhe. Our exhibitors will be happy to help you find the right metal separators for your needs.

Sorting systems

Waste is rarely delivered to recycling facilities in a uniform batch. This makes effective sorting systems essential for achieving high-quality secondary raw materials.

Increasingly, waste has to be separated into different material groups in sorting systems. Both the EU and the German federal government aim to increase the amount of waste material that is recycled and re-incorporated back into the economy. This also affects commercial waste. Germany’s new Commercial Waste Ordinance has been in force since 1 January 2019. It tightens the rules surrounding waste separation for commercial waste producers like workshops.

Non-separated commercial waste must be pre-treated in sorting systems

The new regulations mean that since the start of the year, every business from workshops to construction companies have to sort their waste. Although this was also the case under the old regulations, it was not really taken on board by businesses. Assuming that the new regulations are effectively implemented, companies now have to explain cases in which they are unable to separate their waste.

Many commercial waste producers will never be able to suitably separate their waste because they do not have enough space on site, for example. A waste sorting system can therefore be a worthwhile investment for companies active on the commercial waste market. This allows them to dispose of their customers’ waste with legal certainty and without the need for external sorting systems. Come to RecyclingAKTIV in Karlsruhe and find out from our exhibitors about how your company can benefit from the new regulations.

Recycling quotas in the German Packaging Act – A challenge for waste sorting plants

It’s not just the commercial sector that politicians are encouraging to recycle more. As the result of Germany’s new Packaging Act, waste sorting plants that process lightweight packaging now have to meet new ambitious recycling quotas. At RecyclingAKTIV in Karlsruhe, you will be able to see what modern, sensor-aided sorting systems are capable of.

Both politicians and the general public are now paying much closer attention to the issue of plastic waste. Fighting micro-plastic pollution in rivers and oceans has become a political priority in Germany and across Europe. As a result, politicians are demanding increases in both the quantity and quality of recycling.

But experts like you who work in the sector know that “plastic” is not a catch-all term. High-quality recycling is only possible with pure material. High-quality plastic recycling therefore requires effective plastic sorting systems. Our exhibitors’ experts will be happy to show you the possibilities of modern sorting systems at RecyclingAKTIV in Karlsruhe.