WEEE plastic recycling innovator expands Preston site
Disruptive plastic recycler 3R Technology is gearing up for further growth in 2022, as the ambitious scrap handler invests in new technology to bolster its UK operations.
With more than 20 years’ experience - particularly in the Belgian market - attention recently turned to the UK and the WEEE plastic processing challenge.
Approximately 2,000 tonnes of shredded small domestic appliance (SDA) plastics are now being handled by the team every month, at their 5000m² warehouse in Preston.
Two UNTHA shredders lie at the heart of the cutting-edge plant. A single shaft UNTHA LRK plastic shredder processes PS fridge plastics, and a four shaft UNTHA RS40 with screen achieves a refined 30mm fraction after processing SDA mix. Particle homogeneity is ensured by both machines.
The post-shredded plastic is then transported via conveyor belt to the washing line with floating tank, to be cleaned and dried. ABS/PS and PP/PE material is then run through an electrostatic separator to create pure, high value ABS and PS flakes for remanufacturing.
But having rigorously tested the state-of-the-art processing line, 3R Technology is on the hunt for more material heading into next year and beyond, with the site capable of recycling various plastics, including flat-screen TV cases, computer monitor housings, and computer based peripherals.
The goal is to reach an annual processing milestone in excess of 5,000 tonnes in 12 months’ time, with plans to open two further plants in the South of England and Scotland, in the near future.
“The UK’s WEEE recycling capabilities are continuously improving,” explained 3R Technology’s founder and CEO Yu Lin Wang. “However, the focus is usually the processing of metallic content.
“We’re therefore partnering with WEEE and scrap metal handlers, to tackle the 50% mixed plastic that typically remains once redundant appliances have been shredded. This still has a significant resource value, which often isn’t realised in the UK.”
This is not 3R Technology’s first UNTHA investment.
“We use UNTHA at our Dutch plant too,” elaborated Mr Wang. “So, when it came to selecting the processing machinery for our UK facility - equipment that is easy to use, simple to maintain, and has an impressive capacity - we knew where to go.
“UNTHA shredders make the job of our downstream technology so much easier - we’re able to segregate a further 3-5% clean metal from the floating table which boosts our revenue stream. Our site is attracting a lot of attention, particularly on social media, so we’ll continue to be very vocal when it comes to what we can do. We even encourage people to come and take a look!”