Committed to the circular economy, the firm purchases steel tubulars from the oil and gas industry, before giving the products a new lease of life in construction piling. Repurposing the materials achieves a 97.21% carbon emission saving compared to using raw materials, with no detriment to quality.
But keen to continually improve its sustainability agenda, John Lawrie Tubulars has now also invested in an UNTHA plastic shredder. This globally-renowned technology can process half a tonne of screw caps — oil tube tread protectors — per hour, shredding the otherwise bulky material down to a homogenous 15mm fraction.
The Shropshire operation – pitched by the organisation as the UK’s most advanced bulky waste processing plant – can mechanically dismantle a mattress in as little as 30 seconds, compared to the seven minutes it would take for a skilled worker to manually break down this complex product type. UNTHA’s robust machines – with almost 3m wide loading apertures, perfect for this bulky waste stream – shred the mattresses with ease, down to a <50mm particle size to liberate the steel from the flock. Sophisticated downstream technology then separates clean flock from contaminated material – the latter of which is fed back for re-shredding to ensure a 100% recycling rate.
It is estimated that the recycling of one million mattresses in 2020, will result in recovering approximately 20,000-25,000 tonnes of steel wire, which can be sold, recycled and remanufactured, in line with the waste hierarchy. With its high calorific value (30mj), the clean flock also has the potential to be mixed to produce an SRF for the Waste to Energy industry.
The announcement comes following a significant re-investment into a 12,000ft² new building, 40% extension to the yard, new wash plant, solar system, and an UNTHA XR3000C mobil-e shredder which lies at the heart of the facility. Capable of processing a range of difficult waste materials for alternative fuels, the electric-driven XR3000C runs entirely from solar energy generated by PSH Environmental, on site.
A 90mm screen processes grade C wood down to a homogenous biomass product for a local energy plant, while a 130mm screen can be interchanged in as little as 15 minutes, to enable PSH Environmental to reduce the density of other skip, bulky and C&I wastes, for RDF. The flexible shredder can also handle other bespoke products — even those notoriously considered economically unshreddable or too difficult to handle. The plant is now capable of throughputs of 40 tonnes of material per hour, which equates to 80,000 tonnes per annum.
The PS1300 is now installed at MC Refrigeration’s factory in Wellingborough and is processing its waste wood pallets on site. The firm is also selling the resulting homogenous 30mm wood chip for biomass heat recovery.
Now a biotechnology solutions provider — and a market leader in the handling of end-of-life tyres — the rapidly-growing business is passionate about the responsible recycling of these notoriously tricky rubber products. Having established the country’s first industrial-scale tyre recycling plant, the result is not only landfill diversion, but the reuse and recovery of as much valuable material as possible.
Tyres have long been considered an economically unshreddable product, due to their heavy-duty nature and the high level of wear and tear that traditional highspeed tyre shredders are usually subjected to. But, with an estimated 50,000 tonnes of tyre waste produced in the UK every year — and counting — UKR continued to seek an effective method of processing this large volume of bulky material. The search for a robust and industry-proven tyre shredding and separation solution therefore began.
The Stoke-on-Trent based waste management firm has used UNTHA shredding technology within its alternative fuel production plant for over a decade. But following the launch of the new ZR pre-shredder, last Autumn, Browns will switch out its trusty XR, after 11 years of operational service. The new machine will process the same variety of input materials – a multifaceted mix of commercial, industrial and other bulky wastes – transforming them into a 200mm fuel for UK Waste to Energy conversion.
Renowned reprocessor SugaRich is no stranger to UNTHA UK. The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 firm – which recovers surplus food and transforms it into nutritionally balanced, high performance animal feed ingredients – has long been a user of UNTHA’s shredding technology. So, when the team was faced with an urgent and unexpected project to upcycle nearly 3,500 tonnes of material from a food manufacturing customer, they knew where to turn.
Forming part of The Vita Group, Vitafoam processes ‘waste’ foam-based materials – such as trims and offcuts – for remanufacturing. The firm has procured the new XR2000 shredder to replace the XR model it first purchased from UNTHA UK over 20 years ago.
“Our decision to buy an XR back in the early 2000s was because it was the best machine available at the time to meet our process requirements and increase production throughput. “Foam is notoriously difficult to shred – the way it condenses typically takes a lot of energy to process – so we needed a machine that would be up to the job. “When looking to replace the shredder, we returned to UNTHA two decades later, because we remain confident they are a market leader in this complex field and that the modernised XR will benefit our operations. It also makes more commercial sense.”
Martin Banks, project manager, Vitafoam
“This is a tidy piece of kit which has slotted neatly into our plant. It runs all day, efficiently and quietly – in fact, it’s so quiet, we don’t even know it’s on!”
Amy McCormack, commercial director, ETM
The XR investment marks the latest enhancement to ETM’s £5m facility, which was commissioned two years ago to become the biggest of its kind in the region. It has the capacity to handle 150,000 tonnes of waste per year, collected from ETM’s own skip fleet, as well as contracts for the west of England. But now, the installation of UNTHA’s single shaft waste shredder, means ETM can transform 400mm RDF burner fuel into a refined 30mm SRF for WtE and gasification plants requiring a more precise specification.
The flexible XR technology – with energy-efficient Eco Drive – has also empowered ETM to launch its own mattress recycling service. This complex process is now managed wholly in-house without any reliance on a third-party specialist to help tackle this bulky waste. Currently handling 1,000 mattresses per week but with scope for far more, ETM is liberating the metal for resale and the flock is used for alternative fuel within the Bristol area.
“We use UNTHA at our Dutch plant too! 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.”
Yu Lin Wang, CEO, 3R Technology
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.
The firm has been making a high-specification Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) at its Fleetwood site since it was established in 2013. An UNTHA XR2000 pre-shredder fed two TR3200s secondary shredders, to produce a renewable energy source for the cement industry. But as UNTHA’s engineering innovation continued – to challenge the industry norm of high speed SRF manufacturing – Lancashire Waste worked with the UK division of this global brand to understand how to leverage the potential that next-generation technology could bring.
So when Lancashire Waste opened its second SRF production plant 46 miles away in Burnley, a single UNTHA XR3000C was installed at its heart. This slower speed equipment could produce a quality 40mm fuel in a single pass, without the concerns surrounding downtime or damage when higher speed machines encounter unshreddable items.
The heavy duty four shaft UNTHA RS100 is the latest addition to the fleet, with another existing RS100 already in operation. Capable of processing the materials many operators shy away from, Malary will use the new equipment to shred contaminated waste such as IBCs, and plastic/steel drum shredding for re-use, recycling, and energy recovery. Currently configured to handle up to 150 tonnes pr/week the new RS100 machine doubles Malary’s total capacity, with the ability to transform difficult wastes into a homogenous particle size as small as 50mm. The fraction is then further separated so that ferrous and non- ferrous material can also be salvaged for remanufacturing.
Dates set for UK launch of UNTHA ZR