“A further expansion of recycling: from waste to raw material”
Within the framework of waste separation, we had considered what can be done with waste consisting of full cans. In cooperation with Van Gansewinkel and Meulenbroek Persen, those ideas have been further worked out and have resulted in a trial in August.
How does this press operate?
The rejected full cans are dumped in the press. Once the compressing cycle starts, it separates the liquid from the aluminium. Gravity transfers the released liquids into an intermediate bulk container (IBC) tank. A plunger pump is placed in this IBC tank, which subsequently pumps the liquids into a 20ft storage tank.
What happens to the cans and the liquid?
On call, a pump empties the storage tank and the liquid is transported to a processing plant. There are various options once the beverages are ‘unpacked’. If the product is rich in sugars and alcohol, it can be used for bio-fermentation, animal feed and/or carbon source. Carbon source entails that the biomass is deployed as raw material for water purification installations. This carbon source is used in the denitrification step (for nitrogen removal) of biological purifications.
What is the result after the first weeks?
The first tank of 28,000 litres was transported and processed. This was definitely a successful operation: a conscious step to reduce the waste flows and to lower the costs.
Are there other initiatives that deserve a follow-up in the short term?
Further steps will be in the consumption of power and water. We can all contribute to this by dealing with it consciously.