Germany – Germany’s largest aerosol can recycler Respray, a division of Remondis, has modernised and expanded its facility at Bramsche. The company claims now to have the capacity to process up to 6500 tonnes of aerosol cans every year.
Some 80 000 tonnes of aerosol cans are produced annually in Germany but only 10% of these are professionally recycled, according to Remondis.
Around 60% end up at Respray. Remondis has invested ‘heavily’ in the facility where it uses HazPak (short for ‘hazardous packaging’) – a technology supplied by the Canadian manufacturer Eko Environmental. Old aerosol cans can be dangerous as they contain traces of propellant gases such as propane, butane and dimethyl ether. These are highly inflammable and can cause an explosion if they come into contact with oxygen.
The HazPak system binds liquids and then captures and removes any propellants that may be released. Through its HazPak facility, Respray can process greater quantities of aerosols and recover far more materials for recycling; a compressor, for example, liquefies the propellant gas so it can be sent on for use as an energy source.
Liquid residue in the cans is extracted and thermally treated. Moreover, all metals are automatically washed and compacted into briquettes. Tinplate and aluminium can be recovered and returned to the production cycle.