COOKSTOWN, ONTARIO-A German company has granted exclusive rights to a Canadian firm to introduce a new plastic waste separation system to North America. Esdex Recycling Corp. of Cookstown, near Toronto, is working with Thyssen-Henschel of Stapelfeld, Germany, to bring the technology to Ontario and New York state.
``What's unique about this system is that it can accept mixed plastic waste,'' said Esdex President Floor Kromhout. ``We're talking now to different people who said they're interested and would like to make it part of their facilities.''
The system works by grinding, washing and separating material into different types of plastic, which then are mixed with virgin material and used again, Krom-hout said. It can be used to manufacture everything from drainage pipes to plastic utility bags and agricultural foil, he said.
After shredding and washing, different kinds of plastic are separated by a flotation and hydro-cyclone process, and can be marketed as flakes or pellets.
One of the technology's highlights is that it allows for a 20 percent contamination rate in recycled plastic materials.
Kromhout said the technology is 7 years old, but has only been in commercial use for about 21/2 years at the Thyssen-Henschel plant in Stapelfeld, south of Ham-burg, Germany.A second plant began operating about three months ago in Halle, Germany.
Kromhout declined to name North American companies interested in the product. But he said 60 out of 120 firms that use plastic in their manufacturing process responded to a survey. And of these, 40 wanted to see samples.
``The key is that the users of polyethylene recycled material are looking for consistency in quality and quantity,'' he said.
Esdex was granted North American rights to the technology in mid-April. Kromhout said Esdex hopes to have an Ontario plant up and running within a year to show prospective customers how the system works. The company also hopes to use the technology at a Niagara County, New York, plant that is in the planning stages.