It’s not uncommon for people to simply put their plastic recycling in the correct bin, set it out for the collection company and forget all about it. After all, the whole recycling process is handled out of the public eye and no one really questions how a firefighter does his or her job either do they? Of course, the whole recycling process is actually rather fascinating.
When it comes to plastics, with the many questions that go along with it, understanding the different uses of the recycling plastic machinery is an important part of seeing the whole picture. For just a second, let’s step inside the plastic recycling plant and get a crash course in the commonly used types of materials and equipment found there. You will find that the plastic recycling machinery handles most of the work.
Once the plastic to be recycled, the first piece of plastic recycling machinery used is the sorter. Depending on the type of plastic, a different machine could be used. For example, a bales breaker is used to primarily clean plastic bottles to get them ready for the next step in the plastic recycling process. During this stage of the game, various conveyor belts and metal detectors may be used as well. As noted, the type and shape of the plastic materials often have a lot to do with the specific plastic recycling machinery to be used.
After the sorting process has been completed, the next type of plastic recycling machinery to be used is the shredder or granulators. These machines do exactly what they sound like they would do. These machines have blades, teeth, or another type of cutting mechanism to reduce the size of the plastic to be recycled. Some plastics use dry shredders, while those with inks or other debris to be removed may need wet separators for complete cleaning. Pre washing and washing machines made for this purpose are also commonly used when the situation demands it.
Once the plastic has been cleaned, dried, and reduced in size, there are pieces of plastic recycling machinery designed to create density in the material called an agglomerator. Polymer filtration equipment and solid state polycondensation machines help to complete the task of giving recycled plastic new life in a variety of different applications.
The people who work in recycling plants are well trained in the various types of machinery in the plant and know how to set the system for each type of plastic. Everything, including the water used in the recycling process is treated in as environmentally sound ways as possible. In the end it takes a lot more resources and power to create new plastic than it takes to recycle old.