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Get behind the scenes look at Calne recycling centre
2:37pm Tuesday 12th June 2012 in Calne
Members of the public are being offered the opportunity to see how new, state-of-the-art technology processes the four million plastic bottles which are recycled by households in Wiltshire each month.
The visit is being offered by Hills Waste Solutions as part of Recycle Week, which runs from June 18 to 24. The open day will be held on July 20 at Hills’ temporary recycling facility at Porte Marsh Industrial Estate, Calne.
Henry Newbery, recycling area manager for Hills, said: “We know that people want to do the right thing by recycling and we are giving them the opportunity to see for themselves how important it is to empty plastic bottles, squash them and replace the lids before recycling them.
“Plastic bottles which have not been emptied cannot be recognised by the optical separator and those that have not been squashed can cause an issue as they move along the conveyors. Putting the lid back on stops the bottle from going back to its original shape and ensures that the lid gets recycled too.”
Numbers on the tour will be limited and it is not recommended for young children.
If you are interested in attending you have to list the three things that need to be done to your plastic bottles before you recycle them, and post these either on Hills’ Facebook page (Hills Group), direct message Hills on Twitter (@HillsGroup), send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to the Communications Department, Hills Group, Ailesbury Court, High Street, Marlborough SN8 1AA.
Visitors to the recycling facility will be able to see how the sorting equipment firstly uses a series of conveyor belts fitted with specialist sorting systems to separate cardboard from plastic bottles. The process then uses an optical separator which works on Near Infra Red (NIR) technology which scans the plastic bottles, identifies its specific type and sends a signal to tiny air jets which ‘shoot’ the bottles off the conveyor into separate collection bays.
During May this year 200 tonnes of plastic bottles were processed, with each tonne being made up of approximately 20,000 individual bottles. All of these were recycled through Wiltshire Council’s new cardboard and plastic bottle kerbside collection service and then sorted by Hills to be sent onto other processors to be made into recycled products.