The Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County (LACSD) has selected Bulk Handling Systems (BHS), Eugene, Oregon, to design, manufacture and install a new materials recovery system (MRF) at its Puente Hills Materials Recovery Facility (PHMRF). The system will process both commercial and residential streams – including dry commercial waste, commercial municipal solid waste (MSW), multifamily MSW and single-stream recyclables – and increase the districts’ processing capacity to 600 tons per day (TPD), according to BHS.
The system is designed to provide the flexibility to process various input streams while maximizing recovery and end product quality. The equipment includes a Max-AI Autonomous QC (AQC) in a quality control role on the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) that is recovered by the system’s NRT SpydIR-T optical sorter.
Max-AI is an artificial intelligence developed with deep learning neural network technology, and is able to recognize materials similar to the way a person does, according to BHS. Max targets non-PET items, including non-California Refund Value (CRV) PET, which the AQC’s robotic sorter removes at levels that consistently outperform manual sorting, BHS adds. The demand to increase the quality of fiber will be addressed through optical sorting technology, including a NRT FiberPure optical sorter that recovers clean mixed paper. Another FiberPure optical sorter recovers the smaller and increasingly prevalent cardboard in the system.
The latest AI, robotic and fiber optical technologies add to BHS’ mixed waste recovery capabilities, a patented process that has been implemented throughout the world including at several operational facilities in California. The process includes BHS metering and bag opening technologies, Tri-Disc screens, Nihot air density classification and NRT In-Flight Sorting optical technology. The PHMRF design includes the built-in flexibility to run several material types on the same line, from dry single-stream recyclables to organics-rich MSW at high rates of throughput, recovery and uptime, according to BHS.
“The BHS system will cost-effectively improve our recycling efforts, which will help our member cities meet recycling requirements,” says Habib Kharrat, supervising engineer for the LACSD. “We wanted a system to increase recovery from both mixed-waste and single streams by capturing a high percentage of the available recyclables using state-of-the-art technology.”
The PHMRF is permitted to accept a maximum of 4,400 TPD and a maximum of 24,000 tons per week of waste. It is permitted to receive, process and transfer waste and recyclable materials 24 hours per day, Monday through Saturday. It currently receives waste from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and operates 24 hours per day, Monday through Saturday.