Recycling WEEE Plastics - The Solution

With an estimated 2 million tonnes of WEEE items discarded by householders and companies in the UK alone, WEEE waste plastic recycling, if done correctly, can represent an exciting investment for waste management companies.

With the introduction of the WEEE directive the responsibility for putting schemes in place for the retrieval of WEEE wast plastic products from the consumer has been put on the distributor. This is not only making a change ecologically but also offers new economic opportunities for recyclers.

Approximately 500,000 tonnes of WEEE items were collected last year and this is predicted to rise by 12% over 2019. We can see the increase here at Rotajet, with enquiries for WEEE plastics lines increasing consistently over the same period.

We offer standardised lines for the size reduction, separation, washing, drying and bagging of WEEE waste plastics. To account for our customers varying needs and capacities our lines range in size from 500Kg to 2 Tonnes per hour.

The table below shows the predicted yields of different types of plastics as a percentage of the total volume processed by the line.

PP/PE 20%
ABS/PS 40%
Low Value Plastics 48%
Metals and Others 2%
lead acid battery recycling plant

The Waste Electrical Market

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is considered to be a major opportunity that largely goes under the radar when it comes to recycling.

Last year, it was reported that 50 million tonnes of WEEE items were produced, with only 12.5% of WEE items being recycled to date. This goes to say that a massive 43.75 million tonnes of WEEE is sent to landfill each year; therefore representing a wasted opportunity for recycling businesses.

Whilst recycling WEEE items offers a much more environmentally-friendly alternative to landfilling, it also helps to reduce the staggering amount of resources and energy that goes into producing new electrical equipment. For example, it is estimated that making one new desktop computer and monitor requires; over 240kgs of fossil fuels, 21kgs of chemicals, and 1.5 fresh water. On top of this, it is estimated that each year, mobile phones are sold to around 25% of the population. These staggering statistics are telling of how demanding the making of virgin electrical items can be, and, with the throwaway culture of the electrical market; how much energy gets wasted year on year.

Another consideration to take into account when landfilling WEEE items is the persistent organic pollutants (POP) that can be present within the items. For example, the chemical Bromine can commonly be found in electrical items, and is defined by the government as a hazardous substance that can cause significant harm to human health if released into the environment: “Bromine is a volatile liquid that gives off suffocating vapours, is corrosive to the skin, and may cause severe gastroenteritis if ingested.”

Electrical items that have been ‘brominated’ therefore need separating and disposing of correctly, and in line with government regulations. In order to recycle products that have been ‘brominated’, it is necessary to use a separation medium to filter out any bromine left on the product. A Rotajet Sink Float Tank is capable of this level of filtration: removing traces of Bromine to produce a safe and quality product ready for recycling.

Each of our Sink Float Tanks is trialled and tested before it leaves our facility in Wakefield, so you can be assured that your machine is fit for purpose and will provide the safest and most accurate solution to your needs. For more information on how a Rotajet Sink Float Tank can be installed at your facility, contact our team for your personalised quote today.

Contact Rotajet

We aim to get back to any enquiry within 12 hours, so please do contact us if you are interested in a specific machine or would like to discuss a cleaning requirement. Our friendly team are happy to help with email info@rotajet.co.uk or call +44 (0) 1924 271446.