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World first recycling plant to cut landfill by millions Featured
11 December 2012 Posted by 

World first recycling plant to cut landfill by millions

A WORLD-first recycling plant has been opened by Premier O'Farrell at Smithfield with the potential to prevent millions of tonnes of plastic from ending up in landfill.

Visy Recycling's new 100% Recycled Plastics Unit is the fourth recycling plant created by the company in the Smithfield area to process waste materials collected from as far afield as Queensland and Victoria.

The $50M investment accepts both clear PET and natural HDPE plastic containers (eg. milk, soft drink, juice and flavoured milk drink bottles) and has the capacity to sort up to 60,000 tonnes of PET and 40,000 tonnes of HDPE per day.

A variety of techniques have been incorporated into this unique recycling plant in order to convert bottles and containers to re-usable pellets.

They pass firstly through a screened cylinder called a trommel which removes loose caps and other small items.

Magnets and a ballistic separator remove paper and plastic film. Float tanks provide another form of separation then furnaces decontaminate and melt the material.

Near infrared detectors (NIR's) positioned above the high speed conveyor systems differentiate between PET and HDPE, plastic and metal and between clear and coloured material to make sure only the right containers are recycled.

The plant is operating around the clock to keep up with the continuous shipments of plastics being brought in by Visy Recycling and other recyclers.

The end product is a small off-white pellet of FDA-approved food grade plastic. Visy Recycling sells these pellets to local manufacturers and overseas companies where they are re-used for new plastic products.

The historic opening was attended by Premier O'Farrell, Federal member for Fowler Chris Hayes who was representing the Prime Minister, member for Smithfield Andrew Rohan, Holroyd Mayor Ross Groves and representatives from some of Australia's largest food and beverage manufacturers.

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