Thought Leadership

Equipment Innovations Give a Big Boost to Plastics Recycling

(This article originally appeared in the April 2016 edition of Plastics Engineering. Click here to read the original article.) EQUIPMENT INNOVATIONS GIVE A BIG BOOST TO PLASTICS RECYCLING From technology upgrades to equipment that deals with mounting problems with incoming materials, equipment manufacturers are providing solutions to help plastics recycling grow By Mike Verespej Two MSS Cirrus® optical sorters, with scan rates of over 300,000 pixels per second (photo courtesy of MSS Inc.). The growth in plastics recycling, the increased amount of contamination in bales, and the need for reclaimers to become more efficient to offset a tight pricing market are driving innovations in recycling equipment and technology. The innovations run the full spectrum of the recycling process from sorting, washing, cleaning, and drying to the production of the recycled flakes themselves. But with bale quality being still the most vexing problem for recyclers, much of the focus of innovation has been on ways to improve the efficiency of sorting equipment and finding better ways to deal with the full-wrap shrink sleeves on PET bottles that make it difficult to identify the resin underneath. “The technology is getting better on bottle sorting, infrared sorting, and flake sorting,” says Byron Geiger, president of Custom Polymers PET LLC, in Athens, Alabama. “You are getting better resolution on the optical cameras and better software on the electronics. “We are losing less PET in our sorting, so the new technologies are helping yields to some degree,” adds Geiger. “But overall, yields are down because bale quality has declined.” As Geiger explains, a lot of the innovations that have emerged have been in response to... read more

Lessons Learned Operating Las Vegas’ New Massive MRF

“Lessons Learned Operating Las Vegas’ New Massive MRF” was published as a feature article on April 15, 2016 on Read the original article here: It’s been five months since the opening of the 110,000-sq.-ft. Southern Nevada Recycling Center. The $35 million MRF is capable of processing two million pounds of recyclable material per day, or 70 tons per hour, and is expected to double recycling capacity in the area. Overall, the facility has the capacity to process 265,000 tons on an annual basis. The facility features dual sorting lines, each with a capacity to process 35 tons per hour. The setup means that even if one line goes down, the other can keep running. Although the center will largely process residential recycling, it also has the capability to process commercial and industrial streams and is designed to adapt as the composition of the recycling stream continues to evolve. The setup at the Southern Nevada Recycling Center includes five optical sorters that use 2D and 3D technologies to make material separation decisions in milliseconds. The center’s recycling systems also provide operators with an automated, touch screen control system, as well as tablet-based capabilities that allow for real-time systems management and monitoring, data acquisition and remote access. The capability to run the system off remote human machine interfaces (HMIs) is a change from how previous systems have been run. From tablets—on or off site—the facility’s managers have the ability to do things like re-set screens, adjust sorters and change the speeds of motors. The MRF is owned by Republic Services Inc. CP Group designed and manufactured the equipment. Waste360 spoke with... read more

MSS CIRRUS optical sorter achieves high score in independent study of shrink-sleeved PET bottles

MSS Inc., a world leading manufacturer of optical sorting equipment, recently achieved the highest average sorting performance against five competitors, in an independent study. The results of this study were presented at the APR Technical Forum in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 1st, 2016. The test was intended to determine whether a new type of polyolefin-based shrink label for PET bottles, manufactured by UPM Raflatac, could be commercialized in the current PET market with the existing infrastructure. The test also determined whether the labels could be properly separated both by resin and color. This testing was facilitated and performed by Plastics Forming Enterprises, LLC, an independent full service testing and R&D company serving the plastics, packaging, recycling and consumer products industries. The evaluation was carried out at the testing centers of six optical sorter manufacturers. The testing involved several trial runs of sample bottles, as well as other runs of sample bottles mixed in with random PET and Non-PET plastic bottles. The testing focused on the identification of PET bottles of various colors (substrate) behind the partially or fully sleeved label of various colors, and whether they could be positively or negatively sorted as separate categories. The MSS CIRRUS achieved the highest average test score (88.2%) amongst the six optical sorter manufacturers, as shown in the bargraph below. “This study further underlines that the MSS proprietary CIRRUS NIR + Color sensing and identification hardware and software are superior to other technologies, including NIR cameras and channelized scanners,” says Felix Hottenstein, MSS Sales Director. “And it does apply to flake sorting applications as well.” “The CIRRUS is MSS’s latest generation of high-resolution NIR,... read more

Largest and Smartest Residential Recycling Center in North America

CP Group Technology Featured in Republic Services’ new Largest and Smartest Residential Recycling Center in North America A look at the sophisticated technology inside the facility Las Vegas, NV, (January 5, 2016) – CP Group, in partnership with Republic Services, Inc., unveiled a new, state-of-the-art recycling center at a grand opening ceremony on November 12.  The 110,000 square foot Southern Nevada Recycling Center has been dubbed by Republic Services as “the largest and smartest residential recycling center in North America.” The grand opening reception last November welcomed over 450 attendees to tour the facility and education center.   Site development constructed by Cambridge Companies and equipment installation by CP Group was completed in a remarkable 12 months, from the groundbreaking in November 2014 to the grand opening at the end of 2015. CP Group engineered the residential and commercial single-stream processing system, capable of processing two million pounds of recyclable material per day, or 70 tons per hour. This capability is expected to double recycling capacity throughout Clark County, Nevada.   Engineered Solutions   The facility features dual 35 TPH sorting lines. The dual lines system provides operational flexibility. Republic is able to process one or both lines, and is capable of bypassing certain parts of the system when running different material types. The center will largely process residential recycling and has the capability to process commercial and industrial streams. This built-in flexibility allows the system to adapt as the composition of the recycling stream continues to evolve.   “There are scales throughout the system,” says Terry Schneider, CEO of CP Group. “[The incoming tonnage] can be calculated on... read more

Bay Counties Retrofits Sunnyvale, CA, Mixed Waste MRF

New Equipment Improves Recovery of Aluminum, PET, and Organics   Sunnyvale, CA—Bay Counties Waste Services (BCWS) of Sunnyvale, CA, retrofitted the Sunnyvale Materials Recovery and Transfer (SMaRT) Station’s MSW system. The MRF was originally installed in 2009 and the retrofit was completed in May, 2015. The retrofit and phased installation took 6 weeks and was completed by equipment manufacturer, CP Group, of San Diego, CA. The system currently receives approximately 760 tons of MSW, 126 tons of green waste, and 82 tons of residential curbside material per day. BCWS’s retrofit objective was to increase recovery of containers. “The retrofitted system has increased our recovery rates dramatically for all of our commodities while maintaining our material quality,” says Jeff Nabhan, Facilities Manager for BCWS at the SMaRT Station®. The results of the retrofit consist of a 65% increase in recovery of organics, 98.8% recovery of previously missed aluminum cans, and 97.9% recovery of previously missed PET. “Major retrofits are often more complex than new projects, clients place a lot of trust in us to get their system running with as little downtime possible,” says Omneya Salem, Senior Manager of Project Management and Engineering, CP Group. “Considering material recovery goals are critical to a client’s economic pro-forma projections, Bay Counties placed a lot of trust in CP’s approach. I’m happy to be part of the team that met and exceeded those initial client expectations,” Salem continues. The system retrofit consisted of the installation of 2 new CPScreens on the MSW line for the separation of 2D paper, films, and residue from 3D containers and bulky waste. A new MSS CIRRUS optical... read more

IERC 2015 Conference Presentation

Felix Hottenstein, Sales Director for MSS, a division of the CP Group, gives a presentation on optical sorters at the IERC (International Electronics Recycling Congress) show in Salzburg Austria. Watch and learn how optical sorters sort e-waste for recycling.... read more

Think Safety First

Guest Blogger:   Matt August VP, IMS Recycling & Handy Metal Mart Director of Operations, CP Manufacturing Current Certifications: OSHA 10, CPR/First AID, Class A CDL   Think Safety First By Matt August The dictionary defines safety as “the condition of being safe from undergoing or causing hurt, injury, or loss”. According to OSHA approximately 12 workers are killed on the job every day in the US and they are all preventable. Nobody goes to work with the intent to get injured and certainly not die but in the rush “to get the job done” a procedure is skipped, we decide not to lock out, put the harness on, do the inspection, because we need to “save time and get it done”. The only real way to save time and really get the job done is to do it right the first time and that starts with doing it safely. Each one of the companies at CP Global is unique in what we do but what we do share is the fact that we are heavy industry and share many of the same safety risks and concerns. Each operation is very fast moving and it only takes a second of distraction for a serious incident to take place. Personally my number one goal each and every day has been to ensure that we provide a safe work environment and that every single person goes home safely to their families each night. Why is safety so important to us at CP Global? Because you are important to us. So as we go about our day to day business remember the... read more

Recycling Systems are Getting Smarter, the CP Group is Pioneering the Intelligence

The CP Group announces the release of the i-MRF™ May 15, 2012 The CP Group, San Diego, CA, is proud to announce the release of their newest software intelligence that is making material recovery facilities (MRF) “smarter”. The CP Group designs, manufactures and installs advanced recycling sorting systems for the waste and recycling industry- and is ready to implement their system intelligence, or the i-MRF™, into recycling facilities. Bob Davis, CEO of the CP Group says, “We at the CP Group have identified the need for material recovery facilities to become more intelligent as a necessary step in the evolution of this increasingly competitive industry. Our goal is to give our customers the ultimate competitive advantage, and this is achieved through the implementation of our i-MRF™”. In early 2012, the CP Group acquired systems integration company, Advanced MRF, to ensure they are uniquely qualified to make the i-MRF™ a success. The CP Group has committed talent and resources to the successful development of the i-MRF™, and the team expresses their excitement to roll-out the intelligent operating and controls package. Richard Price, General Manager of Advanced MRF, says, “We are enthusiastic about how this systems intelligence, encompassed by the term i-MRF™, is going to improve our customers’ operations by giving them the tools they need to improve their bottom line”. Some of the key benefits of the CP Group i-MRF™ are based on seamless data-acquisition and control of processing equipment across the plant floor, combined with real-time reporting for the enterprise level and integrated diagnostics for the operators, all accessible via internet based technologies. Davis continues, “This systems intelligence really... read more

Rainbow Environmental Services Aims for Zero Waste with CP Group and Siemens

Chase Clark wants to be a recycler with Rainbow Environmental Services when he grows up. The three-year-old boy loves nothing more than watching the collection trucks roll out of Rainbow’s Huntington Beach, California Material Recovery Facility (MRF) early in the morning. “Most of the drivers have gotten to know Chase, and they’ll honk their horns and wave on their way out for morning rounds,” said Rhonda Clark, Chase’s mom and a big fan of recycling. “He loves those trucks and thinks Rainbow is really cool.” Chase isn’t the only one. Rainbow’s relentless and strategic push for a greener, smarter and safer recycling operation is helping to inspire an entire industry. “We’re an environmental sustainability company,” said Sue Gordon, Rainbow’s Vice President of Environmental and Public Affairs. “Rainbow is all about applying the materials we receive through our gates to a higher and better use.” Even the trucks that Chase aspires to drive someday play a big role in Rainbow’s eco- friendly strategy. They run on compressed natural gas, as they crisscross Orange County picking up the trash and recyclables in Fountain Valley, Newport Beach, Westminster, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa and Irvine. Rainbow’s recycling plant is equally advanced, with plans to move it even further along the cutting edge. The industry innovator wants to reduce downtime and energy consumption at the facility. It must also boost profits and expand into new markets. CP Manufacturing and Siemens are already enabling Rainbow to make significant progress in reaching its green objectives. Massive state-of-the-art material separation systems built by CP Group are enabling Rainbow to more efficiently process 25 to 30 tons of... read more

CP Manufacturing Emphasizes Safety with Screen Improvements

Disc screens modifications are designed to improve overall safety during operation and maintenance. September 8, 2011 CP Manufacturing, based in San Diego, has released newly designed disc screens designed to improve safety and productivity for users. The screens are used to automatically separate newspaper, containers and mixed paper in material recovery facilities (MRFs). “This latest screen style represents feedback from our customers in every area, with a major focus on safety, access and extremely low maintenance,” says Jim Weller, CP design engineer and research and development manager. “Screen technology has been around for quite a while now, and—like the piston engine in your car—it can always be improved,” he continues. “We think we have a Ferrari here—or very close to one.” Weller received WASTEC’s 2010 Engineering Employee of the Year Award. Katlynn Freeley, regional safety manager at ReCommunity Recycling, says, “The folding floor in the CP screen and NEWScreen is a great new mechanism to keep employees safe during maintenance, helping to ensure there are no fall hazards.” The folding floor is one of many improvements CP has made to make operation, cleaning and maintenance of its disc screens safer, according to the company. At the platform level, CP has added access doors in the tail section, eliminating the need for ladders. “We have a great team of designers here at CP, and I feel we have achieved a screen design that is something we can all be proud of,” Weller says. Additional safety features include a flexible cover that can be moved using an electric motor, mechanical backstops to lock rotors for cleaning, lanyards that can be attached... read more