1 February 2007

Polystyrene recycling machine launched

A machine that could make the recycling of polystyrene more cost effective has been launched by Rotherham firm Purex International.

Speaking to letsrecycle.com this week, the company said its Styromelt system could compact polystyrene up to five times more than conventional hydraulic compactors.

Purex International claims its new process can improve the recycling of polystyrene into diesel

By melting polystyrene at high temperatures, rather than mechanically compressing it, the company also said the machine would sterilise the briquettes – making it suitable for recycling fish and meat packaging.

The system, which Purex developed in partnership with engineering company Taylors', is designed to either reduce the volume of waste companies and councils send to landfill, or create briquettes which can be recycled into green diesel or sold to incinerators for up to 150 a tonne.

Purex claims that the design also reduces dust and noise compared to hydraulic models and that some companies trialling the machine have even made a small profit.

Jon Young, marketing manager at Purex International, said: “The machine is only three feet wide and is fairly small and siteable outside, making it suitable for councils and small businesses in particular.”

Mr Young explained that even businesses who did not have enough waste polystyrene to sell the briquettes for recycling would save on skip hire.

He said: “Taylors are also looking at collecting briquettes free of charge from companies and stockpiling the material for recycling or sale for incineration themselves.”

Purex, which will produce the machine alongside its existing range of industrial fume extraction equipment at its plant in Rotherham, has already received four orders for the machines in their first week of sale.

However, Mr Young stressed that many companies needed to look at how much polystyrene waste they were generating to see if they should start recycling.

He said: “Because polystyrene is not seen like glass or tyres lots of people do not know how much they produce. There's a lot more polystyrene than a lot of these companies often realise. Companies may be paying a waste company for a skip when it is just full of air and the potential value is lost.”

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