Whether you place your recyclables in bins on the right day of the week and watch them get picked up by the curb, or bring them to a waste district on your own, those containers eventually make their way to a recycling facility. There, these items are broken down and turned into new things. That process requires several different machines, which take in, sort and reprocess all sorts of materials.
One of the main purposes of recycling machinery is to grind up raw materials and break down larger objects into smaller pieces, which makes them easier to handle. For example, many recyclables, including paper, glass and metal, need to be ground up before they can be recycled. This is done with a grinder or granulator. These devices can also separate materials, removing any contaminants and leaving them ready to go through the next steps of the recycling process.
Some of the other major pieces of recycling machinery include air classifiers and eddy current separators. The former blows air around and forces lighter items up and out of the machine, while heavier objects fall to the lower conveyor belt. The latter uses a drum that creates an induction field to magnetize aluminum. This can then be taken away and used to make new aluminum products.
In addition, there are several types of shredders and agglomeration machines. These devices can physically transform loose plastic material into densified chips that can then be fed to a granulator or extruder. These machines are designed to handle a wide range of different plastics, such as PE, PP, PVC and PET. They are ideal for producers of PP woven bags, garbage bags and food packaging, as well as jumbo bags, tapes and yarns.
Finally, there are machines that help to make the final bales of paper, glass and metal, which can then be shipped off to a manufacturer where they’ll be used to create new products. For example, the LASSO Loop is a machine that can accept seven different kinds of recyclables: PET and HDPE plastic; brown, green and clear glass; and aluminum and steel cans. Once these are deposited, sensors and cameras scan the item and run it through a process that includes looking at its size, shape and barcodes to determine what kind of recycler it is.
The biggest benefit of using recycling machines is the positive impact they can have on the environment. By recycling more, we can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere. This in turn will help to mitigate climate change and protect our planet’s precious natural resources.
For example, by recycling more paper and wood, we can avoid the need to cut down trees and destroy valuable forests. In the same vein, recycling plastic reduces the need to produce new oil-based polymers and helps to save our finite supplies of metal ores. This will help prevent the need to mine and extract these raw materials, which are often associated with expensive and risky environmental damage.