In 1989, an 80 tons per day (tpd) MRF was started in Rhode Island (see Figure 10.7.1). Designed and operated by New England CR Inc. in conjunction with Maschinenfabrik Bezner of West Germany, this highly automated plant can sort and recover the recyclables from partially separated MSW containing metallic, glass, and plastic
cans, bottles, and other containers but not paper and or-ganics. The partially separated MSW enters the plant on a conveyor belt, which first passes under an electromagnet that attracts the tin-plated steel cans and carries them off to be shredded. As the MSW falls, it encounters a rolling curtain of chains. The lighter objects (aluminum and plastic cans) cannot break through and are diverted toward a magnetized drum. The heavier (mostly glass) bottles pass through the curtain and arrive at a hand-separation belt, where they are separated manually by color.
As the plastic and aluminum containers reach the magnetic drum, the aluminum objects drop into a separate hopper. The plastic objects continue on the conveyor belt and are later sorted according to weight.
The plant design appears to be simple enough to guarantee reliability. The concept of this type of MRF plant is promising because it simplifies the process of source separation by allowing cans and containers of all types to be placed in the same bin.
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