TOMRA Recycling explores the future of the global aluminium industry
On 20 May TOMRA Recycling held it first metals sorting webinar entitled ‘Aluminium sorting industry outlook – key sorting technologies, innovations and opportunities in a circular economy.’
More than 200 participants from across the globe joined the 45-minute live session.
TOMRA Recycling’s Segment Managers for Metal Recycling, Tom Jansen and Terence Keyworth, were joined by guest speakers, Patrik Ragnarsson, Senior Manager Automotive and Transport at European Aluminium, and Edward George, Commercial Manager at Alutrade Ltd.
Ragnarsson kicked off the session by highlighting the fact that the switch to electric vehicles has happened much faster than predicted, driven in part by the strict CO2 regulations set by the European Commission’s (EC). The targets are currently set at a 15% reduction for 2025 and 37.5% for 2030 – based on 2021 levels. However, Ragnarsson stated that European Aluminium anticipates even more stringent targets to be introduced this summer to align with recently introduced climate targets.
Ragnarsson explained that those car manufacturers who are unable to meet these targets will face hefty fines, so they need to use every available means to reduce CO2 emissions, which is why light-weighting is becoming increasingly important. He also stated that car manufacturers are also being incentivised to sell more zero and low emission vehicles, such as electric vehicles.
Keyworth then highlighted that demand for aluminium in Europe is anticipated to grow to around 18 million tonnes by 2050 – an increase of more than 40% compared to 2018. Keyworth explained that there would be significant growth in the automotive, construction and packaging sectors. In the automotive sector, light-weighting of vehicles will be the key driver, while in the construction sector, there will be greater focus on more energy efficient buildings to comply with the EU Green Deal. And in the packaging industry, collection and recycling rates for aluminium beverage containers will have to increase. All these factors will lead to a growth in demand for recycled aluminium.
Jansen then provided participants with an overview of the latest sorting technologies for aluminium scrap which are set to play a crucial role in achieving the goal of increasing aluminium recycling rates as set out in the European Aluminium VISION 2050 report. Jansen highlighted the advances in X-ray Transmission (XRT) technology for sorting and upgrading various types of aluminium scrap, including Zorba, Twitch and shredded aluminium profiles and sheets. He also highlighted the benefits for remelters when using high quality aluminium scrap sorted by X-ray transmission, including consistent quality, reduced energy consumption, reduced furnace cleaning requirements and increased production capacity or tap-to-tap time.
Jansen cited the example of an aluminium remelter who, following the installation of XRT technology, increased the amount of post-consumer scrap used for remelting from 25 – 50%, resulting in increased profits of €1.5 million annually. At the same time, the remelter’s energy consumption reduced by 6% and its production capacity increased by 2% – resulting in a €1 million increase in revenues.
Participants heard about TOMRA Recycling’s X-TRACT X6 FINES sorting machine which includes a high-resolution sensor to provide sharper X-ray images than the standard XRT version and offers higher precision on small and thin objects such as copper wire. Jansen also told participants about TOMRA’s X-TRACT unit for magnesium removal which enables the removal of magnesium and the superlights fractions from aluminium to create cleaner aluminium fractions and process material with more stable output quality.
Keyworth then emphasised the clear need for all sectors of the aluminium industry to increase the amount of recycled aluminium being used in new products, and reiterated that sensor-based technology will play a vital role in helping the industry increase aluminium recycling rates to achieve the low carbon roadmap set out in the European Aluminium Vision 2050 report.
TOMRA’s second guest contributor was Edward George, Commercial Manager at Alutrade Ltd, a specialist aluminium recycler in the UK. 70% of Alutrade’s business is aluminium extrusion and 30% is aluminium can-to-can recycling, with the material sorted, cleaned then sold to remelters around the world to be melted back into aluminium cans.
George stated that Alutrade Ltd has witnessed increasing demand for aluminium for both residential and commercial use in the building sector as businesses take advantage of the thermal, UV and aesthetic benefits that aluminium offers when used in windows, doors and curtain walling.
He explained how sensor-based sorting technology has changed the way the company processes material. Using X-ray technology from TOMRA Recycling, Alutrade can now process upwards of 100 tonnes per month of post-consumer waste from demolished buildings or replacement windows and doors.
The aluminium found in these items contains other metals such as copper, brass and zinc which previously had to manually separated. Now, using X-ray technology, Alutrade is able to meet high demand from the global fenestration sector for high purity pre-consumer and post-consumer aluminium scrap, offering a full closed loop recycling solution.
If you were unable to attend the webinar but would like to receive copies of the presentation, please visit: https://solutions.tomra.com/en/en/metal-webinar-recordings.
Winchester Council creates strong brand for new garden waste collection
In February 2021 Winchester City Council launched a new garden waste collection service across the district. The service moved from a free collection service to a new subscription-based service.
The Council planned a co-ordinated communications mix to inform residents about the changes. An integral part of this communications plan was using EPIC Media Group’s changeable graphics system fitted to the waste collection fleet.
The Council created a strong brand for an integrated approach to promoting the service, which included leaflets, advertising and social media. EPIC Media Group worked closely with Winchester City Council to print and install the specially designed adverts on their new fleet of collection vehicles (RCVs) in advance of the service launch.
The full fleet of 20 RCVs, including the two garden waste collection trucks, fitted with the adverts hit the streets of Winchester two weeks before the launch of the service creating a sharp increase in the take up of the new service before a further increase after a leaflet drop. Within three months of the launch, Winchester City Council has generated over £1m worth of income and well ahead of budget.
Once the garden waste service promotion is complete, new messaging can be installed in the frames to reflect any future campaigns. An additional benefit to Winchester City Council is that the banners can be reused, so when the subscription renewals are required, they can be refitted.
Campbell Williams, Service Lead – Environmental Services at Winchester City Council said: “I was really impressed by how clear and engaging the banners look on our new vehicles. They have been an integral part of the council’s communications campaign over the past three months which has been really successful in our district. I’ve even been using an image of a lorry with the banner on as my Teams meeting background!”
Sweeping across winter maintenance
Bucher Municipal are striving forward with electric technology in the sweeper and winter maintenance markets.
Now the both have merged together into one with the CityCat V20e compact road sweeper snow plough option.
This means that not only fully electric options are available for spreaders, but now all electric snow ploughing is an emissions-free choice.
As typically, snow is very much a seasonal occurrence, having the option to transform a normal compact road sweeper into a snow plough in a matter of moments means winter maintenance is more financially viable for municipalities across the UK.
A year-round solution is now being offered to the UK market, a road sweeper under normal conditions and a snow plough during colder winter periods.
The plough attachment isn’t stripped back to the basics either to make this globally unique solution possible.
The V20e as a snow plough has an all-electric brine sprayer and roller brush, distributing brine from one to six metres. The benefits of brine? It is suited to preventive use in cities, reducing or completely eliminating the need of salt, a substance that is vulnerable to externalities such as winds and other vehicles, with the added environmental benefits of saving on salt usage.
However, for the harshest of winter conditions the V20e with Husky V10 has a high value salt spreader at the back and a Polyx snow plough at the front.
The Smart-Con operating system and the CSense touch display, controls all of the elements of the winter attachments and these are already fully integrated with the sweeper function, allowing for more efficient and easier operation of the vehicle.
Obbi Solutions announce CIWM Business Partnership
Software platform solution company, Obbi Solutions, have announced signed up as a Chartered Institute of Waste Management (CIWM) Business Partner.
Gareth Macklin, founding director of Obbi Solutions, created the business with a team of senior professionals, following an inability to find a suitable solution for their own 650-people strong business, that would satisfy the integration of a range of key processes including HR, health and safety and compliance. The overarching goal was to develop a world-class system to cut paperwork and administration time, increase staff retention and productivity and facilitate safer work environments, whilst ultimately creating efficiencies to drive profits.
Gareth Macklin stated, “At Obbi we know first-hand the importance of business partnerships, they increase our knowledge of expertise and resources available to make better products and reach greater audiences. We are extremely proud to be announcing our business partnership with the CIWM.”
“The waste sector is rapidly evolving in line with digital transformation and we are excited to be a part of this. Our priority is to help organisations go paperless by placing all their processes on a cloud-based platform, creating a more sustainable workplace environment. Our partnership with CIWM is going to open lots of opportunities for us to connect with the waste industry and not only educate our own company on waste but make new connections within an already fast growing industry.”
One of Obbi’s current clients ‘Decora Blind Systems Ltd’ stated “Obbi has transformed our processes, slashing the time required for our induction by over 60 per cent and opened up our staff to a new way of thinking. We began with a simple task of replicating our internal processes digitally, but what Obbi has actually achieved is to allow our staff to spot potential time savings in their daily jobs and has empowered them to re-examine their processes and make implementable suggestions that will save the company considerable time and money.”
Obbi are very excited for this partnership and looking forward to exploiting the many ways that the digital transformation and waste management industry can work together to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly workplace.