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BIR CONVENTION: Shredding Capacity Soars

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Recyclers are installing more than two dozen new shredding plants globally.

May 30, 2006

Jim Schwartz of Metso-Texas Shredder Inc., San Antonio, has determined that more than two dozen shredding plants installations are underway, as scrap recyclers ramp up their capacity to produce shredded grades of scrap.

 

In a presentation to the Shredder Committee meeting at the Spring 2006 Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) Convention, Schwartz remarked that conversations with fellow shredding equipment suppliers revealed that some 26 shredding plants have been installed or are underway since the Committee last convened in Milan, Italy, in October of 2005.

 

Schwartz estimates that about 25 percent of these plants represent new shredder locations, while the remainder are expansions or upgrades of existing shredder plants.

 

“There is a bit of shredder mania going on,” said Schwartz, who noted that many of the new plants are large models powered by 6,000 hp motors or larger, as the world’s scrap recyclers push past more than 100 million tons of shredded scrap produced annually.

 

China has only five shredding plants, according to Schwartz, “plus one more on the way.”

 

In a presentation to the Media & Metal Separation Committee, BIR staff member Ross Bartley noted that a United Nations convention on persistent organic pollutants (POP) have identified shredding plants as “unintentional producers of POPs.”

 

Although the BIR has protested this classification, Bartley remarked, “Unfortunately, we’re stuck in a convention we shouldn’t be.” The UN POP Convention includes a recommendation that shredder residue “should be subject to high-temperature incineration.”

 

A presentation by Bernard Lanfranchini of French solid waste and recycling company Veolia focused on the convergence of the solid waste and recycling industries. An increasingly larger percentage of what used to be the waste stream is “put back into the production loop . . . either as a material or as energy,” Lanfranchini remarked.

 

Also at the session, media separation service and equipment suppliers Will Blair of DMS Powders, South Africa, and Mike Bevan of CommoDas (formerly Separation Systems Engineering), Germany, gave overviews of their latest service and product offerings.

 

The BIR Spring 2006 Convention was held at the China World Hotel in Beijing May 29-31.

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