To implement a circular economy successfully, recycling plants need automation, as well as more effective sorting lines than today’s alternatives.
Traditional sorting lines are at best able to produce 80-90 per cent material purity without manual sorting. This means that the output is not of high enough quality to compete with virgin raw materials, and that large volumes of waste require a high level of manual labour.
Norsk Gjenvinning, together with technology company Bulk Handling Systems, is constructing a plant which is capable of recycling paper at 99.5 per cent material purity. The upgrade from 80-90 to 99.5 per cent means that the recycled paper can compete with virgin raw materials.
The new plant fully automates sorting and recycling of waste paper and will be the first of its kind in the world. It is located at Norsk Gjenvinning’s largest plant in Norway and will be ready for industrial waste management in the second half of 2019.
The new sorting line will, moreover, enable Norsk Gjenvinning to collect big data and customer insights. The data can facilitate custom-made processes where Norsk Gjenvinning incentivises and supports customers to sort their paper waste better.
The world is running out of both non-renewable as well as renewable raw materials, and future consumption could be covered by high-quality recycled raw materials. The new sorting machine is a vital step on the way to achieving such a circular economy. It increases the number of uses of waste paper, as well as making waste paper a more attractive recycled material on a global level.
The new paper sorting line at Norsk Gjenvinning is state-of-the-art technology, which could be the solution that closes close the gap between technological development and market demand.
Norsk Gjenvinning is a large Norwegian enterprise with a 90-year history. It has been using biogas vehicles since 2010 and large, electric trucks since 2016.