RICHMOND, CALIF. — The American Plastics Council and MBA Polymers Inc. will unveil what they are calling the world's most advanced recycling research facility next month.
The May 5 tour and press briefing of MBA's new, 50,000-square-foot facility will include new technology that improves and speeds up identification of materials, offers better sorting capabilities than earlier machines and in many cases, does it for less money, said MBA President Michael Biddle.
The facility has improved an identification machine that can recognize at least 30 types of plastics within four seconds per piece, while earlier machines could recognize 23 types in about five seconds per piece, Biddle said. They also have machines that can recognize a narrower range of plastics in 60 milliseconds.
The research facility is funded partly by APC and projects that APC pays for are shared with other companies, but neither APC nor MBA would say how much money APC provides.
Washington-based APC is ``one of the larger'' supporters, Biddle said.
New projects that will be unveiled include machines that can sort a much broader range of plastics remotely and do not require that people bring the material next to the machine, he said. The next hurdle will be developing sensors that can sort on a conveyor belt, Biddle said.
The tour also will include machines that are better at sorting material and removing attached pieces of metal than earlier equipment, Biddle said.
The company previously had a 10,000-square-foot plant in Berkeley but announced the move to the new facility earlier this year. Biddle would not say how much the expansion cost.
APC also said the MSS Bottle Sort System at the Garten Foundation in Salem, Ore., has processed its 10 millionth pound of plastic.