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Heavily contaminated waste no problem for Untha shredders

Geocycle, a subsidiary of Swiss cement manufacturer Lafarge Holcim, has turned to Untha’s shredding technology to tackle solid waste at its facility in Albox, Spain.

Geocycle manages more than 10 million tonnes of mostly cement waste annually. The material, which also includes sewage sludge, tyres and contaminated soils, is processed together in kilns to serve the global cement industry. The company has recently invested in the XR3000C shredder supplied by Untha Iberica to transform an additional 15 000 tonnes of hazardous solid waste per annum.  

More than 10 Untha shredders are now in operation at Geocycle sites around the world. The new shredding line allows Geocycle to convert commercial and industrial waste such dirty plastic, textiles and paper and cardboard scrap into ‘co-processing-ready materials’ for use at one of Lafarge Holcim’s five Spanish cement plants. Such heavily contaminated scrap was previously sent to landfill.

‘Co-processing is recognised by the Basel Convention as a practical, cost-efficient, safe and environmentally preferred waste treatment method so it was important for us to make the most of the landfill diversion opportunity we had identified in Spain,’ says Geocycle’s Operation Manager Raúl Lannegrand.

Geocycle is eager to prioritise the safe processing of this low flash point solid waste so its crews adjust the speed of the new Untha shredder according to the materials being handled at any given point.

Outputs typically range from 4-8 tonnes per hour with a homogenous particle size of <45-80mm, depending on the specification of the final cement plant.

A quick-change cutter system prevents operational disruption when the machine needs to be reconfigured to handle different applications. ‘The flexibility of the shredder was not the only selling point,’ Lannegrand notes.

‘The low speed but high torque drive of this energy-efficient machine really stood out to us. Untha has engineered high-performance yet safe, economical and environmentally robust technology that mirrors the sustainable ethos of what we’re trying to achieve.’

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