Concerns Regarding the Aluminium Recovery Rate in the UK

As reported by letsrecycle.com, there have been concerns raised about the shortfall in the amount of aluminium recovered in the 2nd quarter of 2015 in the UK.  As this follows similar poor figures for the 1st quarter, there is a fear that this trend may continue for the remainder of the year.

The timing of the announcement could not have been better with the UK’s largest recycling exhibition, RWM 2015, being held at the NEC in Birmingham between the 15th and 17th September 2015.

Although the various bodies provide differing explanations for the fall in the aluminium packaging recovery rate, there has been no mention of investment in recycling facilities and technology.  At RWM, there will be a wide range of internationally developed and manufactured technology on display, including equipment like the Eddy Current Separator whose primary function is to separate and recover non-ferrous metals such as aluminium.

Bunting Eddy Current Separator-5

Although manual picking and selection still has a part to play, automated separation of the aluminium packaging is the only way to maximise separation and recovery.  Operations with only pickers should consider investing in an Eddy Current Separator to recover the aluminium and an Overband Magnet to separate the steel.  This would then allow the pickers to focus on more challenging material identification and selection such as different plastic types.

Also many plants have been operating for a long period of time and technology that was purchased at the plant conception is either under-performing or has been replaced with new and better separation technology.

It will be interesting to see how many operators of and those responsible for investment and procurement in recycling plants will visit the RWM exhibition.  We hope that the aisles will be flooded with people.

Hopefully, the discussion about the latest aluminium packaging recycling rates will move away from how data is anaylsed and presented towards what needs to be done to improve the efficiency of our existing recycling facilities.

Bunting Magnetics will be on stand 5T152-V153

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