Recycling your plastic

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Recycling your plastic

We paid a visit to the Agri.Cycle recycling plant in Lincolnshire last month to see exactly what happens to your plastic waste.

Last month we visited Robert Moore and his team at the Agri.Cycle recycling plant in Lincolnshire to see the full recycling process for the agricultural plastic waste which we collect here at R C Baker Ltd.  The plant is based in Caenby and all of the agricultural plastic collected by Agri.Cycle and its sub-hubs is delivered and processed on site.  The machines used to process the plastics are set up within three large barns and given the large quantity of plastic which passes through the various machines; the whole operation is manned by just two or three people at a time.  The machines are custom built to help crush, shred, wash and granulate the plastics into a form which the plastics industry can use for manufacturing plastic products. 

So what happens to your spray cans?

We bale our customer’s spray cans when they are returned to us on site here at R C Baker Ltd.  The bales are then transported up to Caenby and processed.  The spray cans are fed into the mouth of the machine where they are shredded, washed and granulated.  As most spray cans have labels the shredded result often contains paper which needs to be separated from the plastic.  To do this the cans are washed which encourages the plastics to float and the papers to sink therefore separating the two.  The plastic is then passed along the chute whilst the paper follows a different route, squeezed of any residual water and removed.   The plastic is then granulated and dried before being put into large bags ready to be sent to the plastic industries.

            Spray Cans   A Bale of Spray Cans   Granulated spray cans are put into large bags ready to send to the plastics industry

Spent shotgun cartridges:

What we found most interesting was the recycling process for spent shotgun cartridges.  The recycling of cartridges uses a completely separate machine which is specifically designed to deal with the odd live cartridge which may have got into a batch of empties.  The machine is built to withstand small explosions made by live cartridges as they are processed.  Similar to the spray cans, the cartridges are shredded and the paper, cardboard and any other debris other than plastic and metal are separated.  The plastic and metal brass tops are then granulated, dried and ready to be dispatched to manufacturers.  Robert informed us that he is currently creating an additional piece to the machine to separate the product further by separating the brass tops from the plastic as they both hold a much higher value when separated and can be used for a higher variety of things.     

                  Shotgun Cartridges  Live Cartridges  The cartridges are granulated down

Thinking ahead

Robert and his team at Agri.Cycle continue to find more types of plastic to recycle and more ways to make it easier for farmers to remove their waste responsibly.  Recycling is an increasingly popular activity in the UK and one which is essential to reduce our carbon foot print. Even the water used to wash the plastics is recycled on site from a reservoir which is pumped through to a tank close to the barns.  As the water passes through the machines, the dirty water is passed back through a custom built reed bed which filters the water before it returns back to the reservoir to repeat the process again.  It's time to sit up and rethink where your plastic farm waste goes - either to landfill with a detrimental effect on the environment or to Agric.cycle where it can be recycled and reused.     

                             Reed bed filters the water used in the plant before it returns to the reservoir  Mixed Plastic

To find out more about our Agri.cycle recycling service please click here.  

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