ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - A new Australian company, Omni-pol Pty. Ltd., has applied for a world patent for a recycling machine that can process unsorted, unwashed and contaminated plastics into a range of products. David Horne, manager of the Adelaide-based company, said the process can handle any plastic, or plastic combined with other products. He said PVC, oil containers, bottles with lids and labels, and even disposable razors and videocassettes could be processed.
Horne, formerly employed by an Australian plastics company, spent eight years ``on and off'' designing and building the recycling machine. He now has a pilot plant in Adelaide and a small collection network in South Australian schools.
The plastic is granulated, melted and extrusion molded.
Horne would not reveal details of how the process works, nor the melting temperature, but said it is below 356§ F.
He said the recycled plastic could be molded into replacement products for concrete or iron.
Omnipol currently produces covers 1 foot in diameter for sewer drains, but also is developing molds for fence posts, boat rollers and bricks.
``We do not sort or wash, so there are no chemicals going down the drain,'' he said. ``There are also no air or water emissions from the melting process.''
Horne said sorting had always been the biggest barrier to efficient recycling, but Omnipol's production costs were less than 1 cent per pound of final product.
``We can produce a product cheaper than concrete or iron at one-third the weight,'' he said. The company has only one recycling machine, with a conveyor and granulator, but plans to expand its collection network and build more machines.