Waste sorting process

Once the trucks enter the landfill site loaded with Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), the first step is to select and separate all the materials, which are going to be processed in the waste treatment plant.

Inert materials, also called aggregates or improper materials such as metals, sands, stone, ceramics that cannot be treated by our processes in the REVALUO plant and that do not have any calorific value are removed. The same applies to a large part of the water that is in the waste.

Among the materials that are recovered, and to name but a few, we can highlight the recovery of ferrous and other metals with market prices to be taken into account, such as aluminium and copper.  We also obtain glass, paper, cardboard and other recycled materials.

There are two types of solid waste separation, in function of the amount of waste to be treated, the specific purpose of the treatment plant or module and the labour cost of the country.

In the case of manual sorting, the waste is placed on conveyor belts and people on either side of the conveyor belt separate and select the type of waste they want.

In the following video you can see how workers separate bottles and plastics in general to be further treated by a specific plastics treatment module. In that process we will obtain raw bunker fuel with approximately 1% sulphur.

In countries where labour costs are high, specific and specialised machinery is normally used. The work involves less human capital and the materials are separated through belts, ballistic separators, air separators, decantation separators, sieving machines, industrial magnets, etc. It requires a higher initial investment, but with a quick ROI.

Regardless of the chosen method of sorting and separation of waste, manual or automatic, the filtered waste passes through different shredders in the process until reaching the size required by the pelletiser.