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Glass grit got out of MRF waste

What is your product?

Gritbuster MRF glass separator.

How does it work and why is it needed?

With landfill sites under pressure and local authorities keen to improve their recycling rates, MRFs are looking for new ways to boost their recycling.

Glass is an obvious area of focus but it is notoriously difficult to recover. While whole bottles and large pieces of glass can be handpicked, the smaller particles become intermixed with paper, bone, plastic and other pieces of debris, making recovery using traditional processes commercially non-viable.

The Gritbuster Glass Separator combats this by using water to separate the light and dense constituents within MRF waste. It also removes the very fine particles that discolour the surface of glass and making further downstream processing using optical sorters feasible.

Where would it ideally be used?

The technology is ideal for MRFs. They can recover virtually all the glass from waste streams and process it to a standard suitable for reuse, reducing by 90-95% the amount of glass potentially going to landfill.

How is it different?

No other technology readily available can reliably separate dirty light and dense elements at MRFs.

Any savings?

By reducing the amount of glass going to landfill, the Gritbuster glass separator saves a typical MRF £800,000 in landfill tax each year and also allows the material to be traded on the packaging recovery note market.

What benefits does it offer?

Apart from the landfill savings, the Gritbuster glass separator gives MRFs and local authorities a further way to boost their recycling by turning a waste stream into a saleable product.

The system is easy to use and maintain, and it is efficient in its use of water. It operates as a closed-loop process, meaning that the water used for material separation is treated in a Siltbuster water treatment plant to remove extremely small suspended solids, allowing the water to be reused repeatedly.

Only a small amount of top-up is required due to water leaving the system when it is absorbed in the wet light fraction, such as paper and card.

Where has it been used?

Since launch, the glass separator has been used by a number of waste recycling companies. To date in the UK, more than 1,000 tonnes of MRF waste fines have been treated, resulting in more than 900 tonnes of valuable glass being diverted away from for further processing and reuse.

The plant has received worldwide attention from recycling companies in the UK and North America.

What about maintenance?

The plant is designed around the use of robust and simple to operate equipment, so maintenance can be carried out by maintenance engineers employed on any wellrun MRF.

How is it future-proofed?

The Gritbuster glass plant, like the rest of the Siltbuster product range, is a modular component and can be redeployed on other separation applications.


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