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What Does a Waste Sorting Plant Do?

According to research, each person in the European Union produces about 492 kilograms of waste in a year. With such a high waste production, authorities and companies need to develop proper management strategies.

One ideal method for managing waste and reducing pollution is using a waste sorting plant. These facilities support the recycling process by separating waste more economically.

Are you wondering how a sorting plant works and how it helps the environment? Here, we explain more details about the waste sorting process. We’ll also discuss its benefits and help you understand how it helps increase the use of landfills and reduces costs.

The Waste Sorting Process

The primary function of a sorting plant is grouping waste materials based on the material and recyclability. While the process may vary from one firm to another, there are several basic steps.

First, garbage porters pick waste from homes and companies, then take it to a material recovery facility (MRF). The personnel in the location then weigh the waste loads and record them. This process allows easier garbage tracking and record keeping.

After weighing, the bin lorries empty the waste to undergo a pre-sorting process. This step helps remove all the non-recyclable materials simplifying the grouping process. The next stage involves placing the debris on a conveyor belt to start sorting.


sorting plant
Baling press conveyor belt


If the amount of waste is high, the sorting plant may use advanced machines for most tasks. Still, some sorting stages may require combining the use of various devices and manual labour.

Some of the machines used in a waste sorting plant are ballistic separators and trommels. The facility can also use scanners and magnets to separate metallic and plastic items.

After the sorting process, the next step is to categorize the waste into types. For example, the plant may group recyclable metal as scrap meaning that it is reusable.

During this stage, the plant will also subject the items to a detailed quality check. This will help detect any impurities that may render the recyclable material unusable. The test also allows separating the items into different quality grades.

What Happens After Waste Sorting?

After the waste sorting plant categorizes each material, workers can organize them for shipping to different locations. For example, recyclable aluminium, tin, and steel items may go to a scrap metal recycling centre. Such facilities will then shred, melt and remould them into other materials.

In some cases, the MRF may shred or crush the materials using presses and balers. This step compresses the items, saving space and easing transportation.

If any metals are not recyclable, the MRF can send them into a landfill near the sorting plant. Other items that may go into the facility are contaminated recyclable materials and some glass and plastic types.

What Happens to Waste Taken to Landfills?

Most landfills don’t have a design that facilitates decomposition. Still, the materials dumped in the area break down with time due to a low oxygen supply.

Modern facilities that manage waste have a design that allows decay. In most cases, the landfill may have several liner layers to fasten and ease the breakdown process. They may also contain a drainage system to collect rainwater and drain it into nearby ditches.

Once you sort your waste and take it to a landfill, they will remove bulky materials. These can include foam, yard waste, mattresses, and carpets. The primary reason for the separation is to reduce the space taken, improving facility use.

The landfill will also test the solid waste you take for liquids then isolate positive ones. This measure allows them to identify harmful chemicals and prevent them from leaching into the soil.

Why Is Waste Sorted Before Collection?

After learning that the waste you separate at your home or company undergoes further sorting, you may wonder why the initial process is necessary. European waste regulation policies require businesses and homeowners to sort their waste before collection.


Waste sorting


This measure reduces the contamination of recyclable items by grease, food, and other chemicals. It then increases the number of reused materials and lowers the volume that goes into landfills.

Home or business waste sorting also simplifies work for waste management plants. In the long run, this facilitates a faster and more efficient recycling process.

The Benefits of Waste Sorting Plants

Waste sorting plants have many environmental and economic benefits. First, they reduce land occupation by lowering the amount of garbage going into landfills. The machines used in the sorting facilities also decrease pollution by making it possible to recycle some materials.

Using them, you can save resources by changing rejected items into many functional and durable items. For example, recycled metal can go into the construction industry for road and bridge-building.

Another benefit of waste sorting plants is that they provide raw materials for garbage composting. Organic items collected from homes and offices then sent into various factories can make garden fertilizers. These then reduce the usage of chemical options, lowering soil and water pollution.

Other benefits of waste sorting plants are:

  • Extending the life of landfills
  • Protecting non-renewable resources
  • Reducing deforestation

Waste sorting plants also reduce secondary pollution in many ways. First, the machines identify and separate recyclable materials, reducing the need to burn them. A lower waste burning rate leads to a decreased carbon level and a better environment in the long run.

Apart from that, sorting reduces the cost of mining and processing raw materials. In return, this cuts down the amount of energy used by industries that make items like glass, metal, and plastic.

Sorting waste before recycling and disposal helps lower the level of various harmful items and organisms. These include organic pollutants, heavy metals, and pathogenic bacteria.

By removing and discarding things that contain these perils, you reduce the risk of soil and water pollution during treatment.

Reach Out to Anis for Sorting Plant Equipment

After learning more about how a sorting plant works and its benefits, you may want to start one. At Anis, we provide various equipment to help you separate and manage waste. Some of these include conveyor belts and sorting lines.

We also have channel baling presses and scrap metal balers to help you compress waste into more manageable sizes. Contact us today for high-quality waste sorting equipment.