TOMRA Sorting Recycling AUTOSORT COLOR for separating glass from MSW
TOMRA Sorting Recycling has introduced AUTOSORT COLOR, a machine that works in combination with AUTOSORT LASER to effectively separate glass from municipal solid waste. The product achieves purity rates greater than 95% at high throughput rates, even when input materials are wet, dusty or dirty.
Although glass waste is collected separately in many countries, a significant amount of recoverable glass nevertheless remains mixed in with municipal solid waste (MSW) from households and businesses. The product enables sorting operations to extract and sell this glass, which would otherwise fail to make it through to the recycling process.
It helps sorting businesses minimise the risks of disruption, downtime and repair costs arising from damage to components in sorting machines not intended for glass. It additionally enables financial savings downstream of the sorting process, because household waste containing glass can result in higher incineration costs. Extracting more glass from MSW will also reduce landfill costs.
The first step in the process of removing glass from MSW is pre-treatment. After the MSW passes through a bag opener, conventionally the fine fraction (0–80 mm) is screened out. This fraction is then split into three categories by a double-deck vibrating screen: fine fractions of 0–8 mm diameter, such as organic waste and sand, a middle fraction of 8–60 mm and an oversize fraction of 60–80 mm.
In the second step, the middle fractions, which contain the highest glass content, are subjected to density separation. This removes the lighter fractions and sends the heavier fractions to the AUTOSORT LASER unit. Here a combination of laser (LAS) and near-infrared (NIR) detection technologies enables the separation of glass from the rest of the materials.
In the third and final step of the process, the AUTOSORT COLOR machine classifies the glass fractions with a high-performance camera and separates any remaining impurities from the higher-quality glass. The result is the recovery of resaleable glass with a consistently high purity of more than 95%.
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