Los Angeles-based CarbonLITE opened its second recycling facility in September 2017 in Dallas. The plant features a washing line supplied by Italy-based Amut Group and is capable of producing more than 12,000 pounds per hour polyethylene terephthalate (PET) flake from postconsumer bales sourced from material recovery facilities (MRFs), making it the second plant of this size that Amut has installed in the U.S. The 250,000-square-foot bottle-to-bottle recycling plant will process more than 100 million pounds of plastic bottles annually.
CarbonLITE’s Dallas facility doubles the company’s annual capacity of food-grade recycled PET.
Regarding the Amut equipment, Leon Farahnick, CarbonLITE president, says, “I’m very satisfied with quality, punctuality and technology.”
“CarbonLITE management has over a decade of experience in PET wash lines and selected the Amut solution to face the new challenges in the market conditions for their Dallas operations,” says Anthony Georges, president of Amut North America. He adds that Amut integrated its delabeler and the wet whole bottle prewash for the company.
Georges says Amut’s double-stage process first uses dry cleaning action to detach most of the shrink sleeve labels, while the second unit—a wet delabeler—prewashes the whole bottles and reduce wear on the grinder’s blades.
“This wet bottle washing technology utilizes the filtered recycled flake washing water, therefore it does not increase the consumption of fresh water used in the complete cleaning process and contributes to the elimination of outside dirt as well as remaining labels on the whole bottles,” Georges says.
The bottles stay intact through these two machines, helping to improve the efficiency of the automatic sorting equipment that follows, so the non-PET and colored PET bottles can be removed more easily from the clear PET bottle stream, the company says. The clear PET bottles are then washed in the Amut flake wash system.
The technology Amut supplied for the project also includes a wet grinding system to turn bottles into flakes, two patented flake friction washers and two sink-float separation machines, which can capture polyolefin caps for recycling.
Amut says the process is engineered to increase the quality of the clear PET flakes produced so they can be used in demanding bottle-to-bottle applications, optimizing the value of every bale while minimizing operational costs, fresh water usage, energy and cleaning agents.
“We are glad to have scored another top reference in the Northern America plastic recycling market. The CarbonLITE PET recycling project comes after the two mega PET recycling plants that Amut supplied in North America to Unifi in Reidsville, North Carolina, and to Petstar Coca-Cola Mexico,” Piergianni Milani, Amut Group president, says.