TOMRA introduces AutoSort Laser

TOMRA introduces AutoSort Laser

New device uses laser technology to help separate postconsumer materials.

September 20, 2017

Wedel, Germany-based TOMRA Sorting Recycling has introduced the Autosort Laser, which it says can help enable the separation of glass, ceramics, stones, metals and plastics from household and commercial waste.

The new device’s capabilities “allow material recovery facilities (MRFs) to further fractionalize waste and reduce overall weight for landfill, thereby significantly reducing landfill costs,” says TOMRA. Autosort Laser also can help create additional revenue streams via the recovery of salable products, says the firm.

The new product’s laser sorting technology is based on TOMRA’s near-infrared (NIR) and ultra-flexible Autosort series, which has been widely accepted by the recycling industry, with more than 4,000 installed units. TOMRA’s Autosort Laser offers what it calls “a powerful sensor combination capable of detecting more material properties at the same point simultaneously, and therefore sorts material fractions more efficiently.” Unlike competing technology, says TOMRA, Autosort Laser excels at separating thin, thick or opaque glass from municipal solid waste (MSW).

One of the first companies to use the Autosort Laser is Remondis GmbH in Germany. “We are very proud of having the first Autosort Laser installed in our plant in Erftstadt,” says Harry Amann, Remondis site manager at the facility. “High cost savings and great output quality simplified our plant process. Needless to say, we expect a quick ROI [return on investment] on this project.”

TOMRA says Autosort Laser has an independent background system designed to ensure sorting stability and to make it possible to separate thin, thick or opaque glass from transparent polymers, which are used increasingly in items such as syringes, lighters, baby bottles and cosmetic product containers. TOMRA says its new sorting machine has “a unique mechanical design, which is built for the highest safety standards and ease of maintenance.”

The TOMRA group has used laser technology in its range of food sorting systems since 1997, and has now adapted and further developed the technology for the unique needs of the recycling industry. “I’m very pleased to see the first successful installations and the launch of Autosort Laser in our product portfolio,” says Peter Mentenich, senior product manager at TOMRA Sorting Recycling. “It ensures greater profitability for our customers and helps to significantly reduce the amount of material ending up in landfills. A good example again that sustainability and business are not mutually exclusive – both can be achieved with innovative waste management and recycling technology.”