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North Italy welcomes smart sorting boost

Italian recycling firm G.A.I.A. has started production in a new EUR 10 million sorting facility at its treatment centre in Asti, a city in the north-eastern Piemont region.    

The plant can sort up to 50 000 tonnes of plastic and metal packaging from multiple waste streams. Materials are sourced from around Asti and the major cities of Turin and Genoa as well as Reggio Emilia and Aosta.

Equipped with modern technology designed by German expert Stadler, the plant consists of a feeding and pre-sorting section, a mechanical and optical sorting line, a cabin for the manual selection of the bulky products and a storage and baling line.

Output materials include PET (transparent/coloured), HDPE, PP, Mixed PE and PP, LDPE and PP film, bulky plastics (four different products), residue and both non-ferrous and ferrous metals.

The Asti project was quite a challenge, says Stadler’s director Italy Pietro Navarotto. ‘We had to design a plant with many machines and conveyors in a small existing building, taking into account also the space for maintenance. We also considered the possibility of extending the line in the future.’

Since the plant sorts many types of materials, Stadler’s engineers had to do extensive tests to check the purity of the recycled material and the recovery rates.

Meanwhile, Stadler is busy completing another sorting facility in north Italy, at Parma-based recycler Iren Ambiente. It will be dedicated to plastics and paper separation.

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