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To shear or not to shear: tech survey results are in

Despite the many setbacks this year, recyclers have a generally positive view of the future of technology in the industry, a survey by Recycling International has found.

Almost 60% of respondents are optimistic about the future when discussing innovative recycling solutions while 30% have a neutral outlook and the remaining 10% expect the recycling sector to run into ‘very difficult’ times.

Those taking part in the survey represent more than 100 companies spanning the global mixed metals, car recycling, e-scrap and post-consumer plastics markets. Around 25% of respondents expect the industry to return to ‘business as usual’ in the next six months while 20% think this will occur in the opening months of 2021.

One in four believes it will take 12 months and a further 15% say it will be two years. Around 15% are unaffected in their operations.

When it comes to scrapping equipment, 21% of respondents are looking to purchase a new shear immediately, 24% want to wait six months before placing a new order while 29% say it will be a year. More than four in ten (43%) point out that the baling option is an important feature in their day-to-day operations.

About 55% of respondents say they currently own a shredder and 47% have a stationary shear. Mobile shears remain popular with nearly half (48%) interested in a unit with a cutting force between 550-750 tonnes. About 15% want one that exceeds this range.

For 37%, a mobile solution is preferred to a stationary shear as it allows them to process material at multiple yards. Twenty-three per cent say they want to have the extra flexibility to support demo projects while 27% are looking to lower their costs and 14% want fewer site regulations.

Around 38% of respondents expect a new mobile shear to have a lifetime of five to ten years, while 30% believe heavy-duty operations will result in it being replaced in less than five years. More than a third of respondents say durability is the main factor when buying a new mobile shear. For 26%, the biggest driver is the price, while 19% says it’s a combination of speed and capacity.

When it comes to a reasonable price point, the biggest group (45%) are willing to spend up to EUR 300 000 on a new mobile shear. Around 35% are looking between EUR 500 000 – EUR 750 000 with less than 7% willing to spend more than that.

More than half (53%) of recyclers typically finance a new shear via direct purchase. Another 28% says they prefer a buy-back option when replacing existing equipment for a newer model; 19% say they favour a rental arrangement.

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