plastics recycling wash line

GT Recycling upgraded its water treatment facility to increase capacity

GT Recycling in Geelong, Victoria needed to upgrade its water treatment system to increase the company’s capacity. GT Recycling’s Business Advisor Doug McLean was pleased to see the flow-on effect the Aerofloat wash line has had on product quality. 

Read original article in Waste Management Review

According to Doug, Aerofloat’s system has improved the end-product of both the flake and extruded plastic. 

“The plant has exceeded our expectations,” he says. “It’s significantly improved our process in several areas including environmental, occupational health and safety and water consumption. We’re confident that this new plant will meet the company’s needs going forward.”

The system includes an AeroMBBR and AeroWAVE, the latter being Aerofloat’s latest innovative technology for the industry. 

As a family-owned company with more than 40 years’ experience in recycling, GT Recycling processes a range of polyolefin hard and soft plastics including PE poly pipe, wheelie bins, milk crates, and garden pots.

According to Doug, the company is looking to double its current capacity by the close of 2022, focusing on recycling a range of flexible plastics that are affected by this year’s July 1 export ban.

Increasing the plant’s washing capacity was integral to the expansion, which meant an upgraded water treatment system was required. The new system needed to accommodate increased throughput capacity to allow for future growth, improve water quality and reliability.

“We wanted the latest technology that would be reliable and meet our internal and Environment Protection Authority compliance standards,” Doug says. “But we also wanted a water quality that was suitable to be used again in our washing process rather than be disposed of as trade waste.”

Aerofloat’s technology display at a Melbourne recycling and waste trade exhibition caught the eye of GT Recycling.

Aerofloat took the time to understand GT Recycling’s needs before offering a project proposal, says Doug.

“Aerofloat had undertaken similar projects within the plastic recycling industry, which gave us the confidence to proceed to the next step,” he says.

Aerofloat’s engineers liaised with GT Recyling to understand the requirements of the plant, including ensuring the layout of the build met their requirements, scheduling installation as well as offering technical and maintenance support following commissioning in May 2022.

“Aerofloat listened, advised and designed a plant that completely met our current and future needs,” Doug says.

“We’re getting lower water consumption because of the recyclability of the treated water and improved efficiencies with the wash plant and the subsequent extrusion process due to a cleaner product.

“That’s important as we continue to strive for improvement.”

Michael Anderson, Aerofloat General Manager – Engineering and Projects, confirmed that this is what Aerofloat strives for.

“Yes, the treatment system will make the water look better and managing it will be easier,” he says. “But at the end of the day, GT Recycling’s business is selling plastic and now they’ve got a better product to sell.”

“They’re already noticing the colour of their finished product has improved. Their saleable commodity has improved; that’s something they didn’t expect.”

“That’s what we sell.”

The wash plant at GT Recycling is a closed loop with used water treated and returned to the wash line. Michael says whilst there is some water loss due to evaporation and part of the drying process, this is significantly less than the previous system, which often had to be completely drained and refilled.

Aerofloat added a biological step to scrub soluble contaminants from the water for an odourless result.

“By using cleaning water, we’ve effectively ensured less pressure on the extruders with fewer fine plastic making its way into the water” says Michael.

“Our AeroWAVE is ideal of plastics recycling but can be used in other industries.”

“It targets a very specific need where the water quality only has to reach a certain level,” he says. “It’s quite good at handling the sludge. The system is capable of treating double the current load.”

“That’s what wastewater engineering is, selecting the right product for the right application. As a business, we’re always looking to improve technology.”

Aerofloat prefabricated the GT Recycling wastewater treatment system in Sydney prior to site installation. Doug praises the professionalism and knowledge of Michael and the Aerofloat team.

“Commissioning and changeover to the new system was seamless,” he says. “The project was on time and on budget.”

Find out more about how Aerofloat can support your industry with its innovative technology.

Read original article in Waste Management Review


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