The German company Remondis has announced that its Respray division has opened an aerosol can recycling system at its industrial recycling centre in Bramsche, Germany. Remondis says the facility, known as Hazpak, is the most modern plant of its kind in Germany. It officially opened 1 July 2016. The equipment for the new aerosol can recycling facility came from the Canadian company MacLean Engineering.
Respray specialises in recycling hazardous substances, including aerosol cans. Remondis developed its Respray collection system for businesses that needed old aerosol cans or polyurethane foam containers collected from their premises on a regular basis.
Remondis notes that 80,000 tonnes of aerosol cans are produced in Germany each year, with only 10% being recycled. Remondis estimates that around 60% of the collected cans are handled at its Respray facility, making it the biggest aerosol recycler in Germany.
Through the plant, Respray separates the containers into three different materials: liquids, gases and metals. The first step is sorting out all the solid wastes that are not aerosol cans. In the second step, the cans are pressed together and the three materials are separated. Then a compressor liquefies the gases so they can be used as electrical or heat energy later. The other liquids, which are the remaining liquids in the aerosol cans, are used for heat energy. The metals, compressed into small briquettes, are sent back to the metals industry.
With the new plant in Bamsche, Respray will be able to process 6,500 tonnes of full, partially full and empty aerosol cans generated by industrial and commercial businesses every year. Respray’s Hazpak facility not only means that it can process greater quantities of aerosols, but with the new technology it can recover more materials for recycling. For example, Remondis notes that a compressor liquefies the containers' propellant gas so it can be sent on and used as a source of energy. Any residue liquid in the cans is extracted and thermally treated. All metals are automatically washed and compacted into briquettes. Tinplate and aluminium are recovered from the cans so they can be returned to production.
In light of restrictions and legislation surrounding the proper handling of the aerosol cans, Respray says it has developed a special container system that carefully binds liquids and captures and removes any propellants that may be released. Aerosol cans collected at Remondis' other locations are shipped to the Respray site. The company accepts aerosol cans from the commercial and industrial sectors, including the cosmetics and car care product sectors.