Burkasan has chosen Tomra’s sorting technology to recycle HDPE bottles in its new plant

Vedat Kılıç mentioned that with the investment in this new plant, all the facilities operated by Burkasan, including the new one, now process a total volume of about 15 thousand tons of materials per month. Detailing the operation in the new plant he added: “We have plans for our new plastic recycling plant to process 2.500 tons of waste material per month and to thus obtain a minimum of 1.500 tons of high purity PET flakes and HDPE granules. It is so hardly impossible to realize the same level of capacity and purity with manual sorting, regardless of the number of workers. Especially in times of the current pandemic and the need to adhere to strict social distancing guidelines, manual sorting turns out to be a very challenging and costly method while product quality cannot be guaranteed. We can gladly say, that we overcome all these problems with Tomra sorting machines which sort our incoming materials precisely and prepare it for being supplied to our global customers. With Tomra we can achieve 99 percent purity.” 

Tomra’s Autosort is located right at the beginning of the plant, following the pre-sorting operations which takes out fines, metals and 2 D materials.  In the first steps of the process, machines such as a bale opener, magnet, eddy current and ballistic separator go into action and are followed by the main sorting operation which is performed by Tomra’s Autosort machines. Only later in the line, Tomra’s Autosort Flake takes over the task of burr removal and sorts material by colour, metal and polymer type even if the material mix contains the smallest pieces of foreign substances. 

Serkan Orhan, Turkey and Middle East Sales Manager at Tomra Sorting Recycling commented: “Based on a proven Flying Beam technology, Tomra’s Autosort guarantees a perfectly homogeneous light distribution for better detection and sorting throughout the process thus allowing for higher performance and operational efficiency. Moreover, it detects substances which cannot be identified in a manual sorting process and consequently further increases the purity levels of sorting.” 

Constant high-quality products 

Vedat Kılıç said that mixed plastic bottles are sorted by Tomra machines based on their polymer structure: ”For instance, when using conventional methods, PET and HDPE are transported on conveyor belts and sorted by manual sorters. However, it is not possible to constantly achieve the same capacity, quality and cost of product with manual sorting. By employing Tomra’s sensor-based sorting machines, PET and HDPE products are separated from other materials and subsequently sorted by color. Following this automated process allows for generating recycled raw materials that have the same quality as the original ones. This automated bottle to bottle recycling process is done for the first time in Turkey and enables us to supply global brands, which are increasingly focusing on their environmental credentials and the use of resources, with high-quality products.” 

Ease of use 

Autosort’s user-friendly touchscreen based on near-infrared technology (ACT) helps plant operators to make easy choices from among several sorting programs depending on operational requirements. Thanks to Autosort’s continuous calibration feature, waste sorting plants are able to monitor and optimize the operational performance in real time. Thus, constantly high-quality output becomes possible and the system fails less. Serkan Orhan stated; “Our machines increase the profitability of waste plants and convince with low operational and service costs.”

Upcoming plans: production of PET granulates  

When asking for a future outlook, Vedat Kılıç said: ”For the beginning, we focus on obtaining high density polyethylene granulates and PET flakes, but our aim is to make an additional investment to produce PET granulates. In medium-term, we plan to achieve ’bottle to bottle’ recovery. If the Turkish Food Codex gives consent, we’ll target the production of raw materials for making PET bottles that can also be used in the beverage sector.”

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