So do we recycle Wheelie Bins?
Plastic has been become such a vital entity that in modern day times, we simply can’t do without it. How do you pack your groceries if not in a plastic shopping basket? The fruit and veg in your local supermarket is neatly packed in crates (made from plastic). Every industry all around the world at some stage or another has made use of some form of plastic, but does plastic waste really have to find its way to a landfill site or to our oceans? And the simple answer is NO!
Take a product like the humble wheelie bin, for years this product has been made from virgin plastic (HDPE), but it doesn’t have to be. Why would you want a wheelie bin made from virgin material? Do we not put our waste in it?
Mpact Plastic Containers (MPC) along with trailblazers like the City of Cape Town have embarked on a creating a closed loop system. How does this work? MPC collects damaged/ condemned bins from places like the City of Cape Town, waste collectors and other municipalities.
MPC offers an exchange system whereby for 10 damaged but complete bins, we offer the customer a brand new one free of charge. These condemned bins have to be identifiable as locally manufactured from HDPE and free of oil and waste.
This product then goes through the recycling process:
· At this point the bins are offloaded by a mechanical forklift to the wash bay, where the bins are washed manually by jet vac by 3 different teams.
· Once the bins have been deemed satisfactory by our quality department, they are then cleared.
· The bins are then moved manually to the raw material section of the plant; here the bins go through a shredder which breaks down the materials.
· The shredded material is then packed into bags with the weight of 900kgs — 1.3tons each.
· These bags are then mechanically lifted via forklift onto a 35ton truck.
· The bags with the shredded material is then transported via road freight on the 35ton truck to the Mpact Recycling Plant in Brits 1 486km’s away.
· Here the bags are offloaded mechanically with a forklift to the Bulk bag station.
· The shredded material is decanted into the container feeds where the material is further granulated and palletised after which it is moved into the wash bay system.
· There are 5 stages of washing that the material goes through before it goes through the centrifuge and the drying process.
· Once the material has been through the drying process it can then be used to produce new wheelie bins.
Over the last 4 years Mpact Plastic Containers has diverted 700 tons of plastic from going to landfill and has managed to convert this into new products.
Credit: Janine Charters