Blue Southern secure multi-million pound deal, for MRF plant at Amgen Cymru

Amgen Cymru (in association with Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council) recently replaced their Materials Recovery Facility, based in Llwydcoed, Aberdare.

The previous facility sorted materials mainly by hand-picking with some automated sorting by magnets and a ballistic separator. The plant feedstock material is all municipal dry mixed recycling collected at the kerbside by the local council (Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC) and Amgen Cymru were looking to build a new plant to improve their throughput and gain a better recycling recovery rate with improved purity levels.

Following detailed and rigorous procurement and testing processes Blue were awarded the contract to design and install a state of the art MRF on the footprint of the existing plant.

The plant was designed using equipment from a number of manufacturers; all conveyors and the general infrastructure provided by Westeria. Optical sorters provided by Tomra have then been mounted onto to the Westeria conveyors. Six of the seven optic sorters have laser optic detection used for detecting black plastics and two of the optic sorters have EM3 sensors used for metal detection. BRT Hartner supplied the ballistic separators and two B021 bag openers. The plant’s magnets and eddy currents were supplied by Magnapower. Avelair provided both the compressed air and the dry air solutions, the latter was required to make sure a necessary dew point was held for the machines within the plant. The sorted materials at the end of the process are then baled using CK International balers.

Blue worked closely with the Client to ensure that the specialist sorting equipment selected in the overall layout and design of the facility would meet the performance criteria for the recovery of recyclates specific to the feedstock presented from kerbside collections in the area.

For example, with the seven Tomra optic sorters, they have been Blue’s preference for the last 3-4 years and hold an 86% share of the UK market. The laser optic detection on two of the Tomra optic sorters are the first ones to be installed in the UK, Tomra was the only supplier that could offer this to an acceptable level.

Amgen’s Operations Manager, Ian McAlister commented on the benefits they are seeing so far from the new plant: ‘’The new MRF has a processing capacity of 18-20 tonnes per hour and around 65,000 tonnes per annum, previously we were processing around 32,000 tonnes per annum. We are now recovering a lot more recyclates then we were previously, which means we are diverting a great deal more waste from incineration. We are also very happy with the purity rates we are seeing, with the plant currently running at 97.5% purity in materials being processed’’.

Going forward Amgen Cymru should benefit from being able to sell the sorted material at a higher price, due to the purity levels being offered by the plant. As the plant also offers a lot higher throughput, it allows them to bring a lot more material in and move on more sorted materials.

Tom Rutherford, Project and Applications Manager at Blue Southern, adds his thoughts on the project with Amgen Cymru: ''It has been a pleasure to work with Ian McAlister of Amgen on this project with his relentless drive and passion for the perfect plant for his application. Through a continuous partnership with the client myself and blue southern have had the pleasure of delivering a one of a kind automated plant which is already surpassing all of our expectations.This is thanks to all the suppliers involved who came together as a team to deliver an engineering solution of unparalleled performance’’.