The waste unloaded by the collection trucks is fed into the line through a metering hopper that ensures a steady flow of waste to the rest of the line.
The waste is separated by size, using trommels or ballistic separators.
Small items, which are difficult to recycle and could be dangerous for the operators, are removed from the convey or belt. Very large items are processed separately.
Flat waste (such as paper and cardboard) is separated out from bulky items (such as bottles and plastic containers), using ballistic separators.
Iron and steel packages are separated out by magnetised systems called overbands; aluminium items are captured by eddy current separators
Optical sorting machines scan the products to identify and separate out the different types of plastic, paper and cardboard.
Each material is then scanned to remove the last sorting errors. This step is generally carried out by primarily manual inspection by quality controllers. In recent years, it has become possible to install AI-powered sorting robots to carry out part of this inspection.
This material is then compressed and packaged into “bales”.
These bales are then sent to a processing facility that will convert these wastes into resources.
Rejects from the selective processing step can then be taken to a plant that converts them into solid recovered fuel’ (SRF) or Refuse-derived fuel (RDF) and subsequently used to generate energy.