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New shredder in easy reach of M6 opens in Preston

RecyclingLives shredder in Preston
This new shredder in Preston is in easy reach of the M6 motorway which should reduce haulage charges for many on the area.
RecyclingLives is a business with a difference. The company knows about vehicle dismantling, are MVDA members, they operate the Scrap Car Network, they also handle all ferrous, non ferrous, a sizeable operation in TV recycling (6,000 units per week) and a waste transfer business. And what’s amazing is that the business supports a major charitable, community based operation helping the homeless and ex-offenders return to a stable and useful life.



Buying a shredder is no easy task. The search started 5 years ago fro RecyclingLives and during that time included travelling to all corners of the globe, looking at plant and the effectiveness of the various components of a shredder installation. To cut a long story short, they settled on a Taiwanese CHH shredder that is currently rated at 2,500hp (that can easily be uprated to 5,000hp) and downstream separation plant from Titech in Germany. Once the grab has dropped the material onto the infeed conveyor it isn’t touched again (apart from picking) until it is all sorted into its various factions - this is a serious bit of automation!

This multi-million pound project based at their 15 acre Preston site, commenced installation at the beginning of January this year and was commissioned in June. Since then, after one or two teething troubles they have been fine tuning the system to maximise efficiencies.

Plant and Operations Manager, Gary Halpin explained, “To operate a shredder you must know what your infeed material is. Low residual scrap (that containing a high percentage of metal) can run faster than material with less of a percentage. The shredder can handle it no problem but if you have a foot depth of material on your conveyors then the pickers can’t pick effectively and the magnets won’t separate ferrous and non-ferrous metals efficiently.”

Once shredding has been performed, two drum magnets mounted above the conveyor extract the ferrous content. This material then passes through an air separation system for further removal of non-metallic material, followed by a picking station for removal of any remaining fluff and non-ferrous material. The ferrous metal is then conveyed to its storage area ready for delivery to customers.

The remaining material, which includes the non-ferrous element then travels through a series of conveyors to the main building where a variety of systems including trommels, eddy current separators, blown air separators and hand picking, all connected by a maze of conveyors, direct the various non-ferrous outputs to storage areas. This includes large and small grade Zorba (mixed aluminium, copper and brass), stainless steel and insulated wire.

The Zorba material is not separated further but remains a mixed stream which is then sold on to companies operating specialised non ferrous separation plant. The waste elements, some of which still contain a significant amount of plastics are sent to their waste transfer station for further separation.

During an average shift the plant will process 70 to 80 tonnes an hour of material giving approximately 50 to 60 tonnes an hour of ferrous metal.

Gary said, “the beauty of this plant is that we have flexibility. I have already mentioned that we can easily up the horse power but because the system uses a DC motor, we can adjust the speed or even reverse or jog it with no torque loss. Dependant of the material we are processing, we also have the option to just run the shredder, the down stream, or only half the plant. The time spent looking into all the options has really paid off for us”.

Away from the shredder side, it was fascinating to see their TV processing facility. Older TVs with CRT screens are dismantled and the glass ground to various particle sizes. Some of the glass is leaded so must be treated accordingly. They turn this into an aggregate which is used to manufacture interlocking blocks for protective walling around the yard. The non leaded glass is ground and used for a number of services including sand blasting.

The LCD TVs have mercury in the screens so a sealed area is used for their dismantling. Speaking of dismantling, TVs may not be cars but they have built up a healthy business in selling used TV components and circuit boards through eBay - once a dismantler, always a dismantler.

As already mentioned, we are not looking at the charitable side of this business here but we must mention the social drive and commitment of the business. They have a great canteen on site plus gym facility. All the equipment in the gym has come out of the scrap and their trainer is an ex prisoner who keeps both the equipment and the users in peak condition!

RecyclingLives recently received their second Queens Award - an impressive achievement by any standards. They take in material from many sources but are always happy to talk to members about their baled cars. They are also keen to speak to members who may be interested in working with them through their Scrap Car Network. As a partner you would then be able to collect vehicles from your chosen area.

If you would like to know more, contact Katie Roxburgh on 01772 665905.

November 2014

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