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REDWAVE sorting equipment key component to glass recycling facility

REDWAVE is celebrating the successful opening of Australia’s largest state-of-the-art glass recycling plant.

The recent opening ceremony at the Laverton (Melbourne) site marked the culmination of a collaboration between REDWAVE and glass recycer Visy. Together they have embarked on a project that will redefine the glass recycling in Australia.

Wayne Russell, Executive General Manager – Recycling at Visy, emphasised the commitment to closing the loop for glass in Victoria. “At Visy, we are committed to closing the loop for glass in Victoria. By building our brand-new glass recycling facility with REDWAVE’s world-class optical sorters, we’ve doubled the amount of glass we can recycle,” he said.

As general contractor, REDWAVE was responsible for the entire process of design, engineering, delivery, installation, and commissioning, ensuring a maximum yield of cullet.

Revolutionising glass processing
With a processing capacity of 200,000 tonnes annually, the new plant will receive two-thirds of the input from kerbside mixed recycling collections (MRF Glass) and one-third from the newly established Victorian container deposit scheme (CDS Glass). On arrival, the glass is sorted into three different colours, down to three millimetres in size. This systematic sorting ensures a reliable supply of flint (clear), amber, and green glass for future glass production. The plant also maximises the use of by-products, minimising the impact on landfill and recovering valuable secondary materials. Remarkably, the sorting operates autonomously, eliminating the need for manual sorting – a pioneering achievement in glass processing.

Sensor technology
REDWAVE has devised a solution to the challenges posed by glass-ceramics, which behave differently to ordinary glass when melted. Using its proprietary CX camera and lighting unit, the system separates glass-ceramics, ceramics, stones, porcelain, and off-colours through a multi-stage sorting process.

Increased efficiency
The implementation of REDWAVE mate smart plant software optimises plant efficiency by collecting and processing real-time production data. This data empowers operators and enables autonomous plant operation, all tailored to meet customer requirements. At the heart of this data collection are REDWAVE’s sorters, which act as data hubs to relay critical information to the software.

Digital sales landscape
Navigating this plant sale during the global pandemic required innovation. REDWAVE made the sales process digital. All interactions, including reference visits and sorting tests, were conducted virtually, bridging distances of 16,000 kilometres and an eight-hour time difference.

Follow-up order
A follow-up contract to build another glass recycling facility at the Yatala site near Brisbane has been awarded. This project is already underway and is scheduled for completion in early 2025.

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