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From Sicilian traders to manufacturers of secondary raw materials

With a long history as a family-run concern, Fondi-Metal is located in the industrial area of Carini, near Palermo where owners Baldassare Marino, son Paolo and son-in-law Piero, are pioneers in metal recycling on Sicily. By choosing a path in direct contrast to its island competitors, Fondi-Metal is investing in new technologies to enhance its metal scrap.

‘Our business is built on a long family tradition and Fondi-Metal today is the culmination of almost 80 years of work,’ recalls Baldassare. ‘From a very young age I began working alongside my grandfather and my father. We were mainly scrap dealers and dealt with the purchase, manual sorting and resale activities. The changes in the sector, combined with labour costs over the years, have led us to focus on certain types of waste and shift our operating areas.’

Flagship product

Today Fondi-Metal is still managed by the family but now concentrates on metal and non-metal scrap. ‘We purchase the waste to be recycled directly from producers or other dealers who, in turn, are supplied from various industrial, artisanal and commercial enterprises,’ says Baldassare. ‘We place them on the recycling line that takes care of everything, from volumetric reduction to sorting – which thankfully is no longer manual but fully automated – up to the selection of the smallest metal parts to be valorised.’

The recycler’s flagship product is aluminium, which is fed into the Panizzolo recycling plant to obtain a refined and high-quality material, characteristics that allows it to sell a ‘furnace-ready’ product directly to foundries in central and northern Italy. Other types of ferrous scrap go locally to the furnace at Acciaierie di Sicilia.

Son Paolo recalls: ‘I discovered Panizzolo machines at a fair and, intrigued, did further research online, visiting its website and watching videos on its YouTube channel. As a result, we purchased the first Panizzolo metal scrap recycling plant, consisting of a Flex 500 Mobile hammermill and an eddy current separator.’

A significant characteristic of the machine was low energy consumption. Thanks to its 90 kW motor, Fondi-Metal achieved up to 3.5 tonnes of the finished product per hour, significantly increasing the profitability of the aluminium.

‘Immediate innovation’

‘We also chose the Panizzolo mill because we wished to expand our production range and bring immediate innovation to our work,’ Paolo says. ‘There are very few of us on Sicily who think the future lies in recycling scrap and not just in trade. We also purchased two types of interchangeable cradles, one more suitable for the recycling of aluminium profiles or in any case of semi-soft materials, the other dedicated to aluminium casings.’

Looking ahead, Baldassare says: ‘Our main goal is to increase production. In Sicily there are few among us that offer this type of service and the market is still new. We will certainly need to expand our machine inventory, an excellent opportunity for a new collaboration with Panizzolo technicians.’

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