RePower south starts up advanced recycling system

The technology-heavy BHS system can process nearly 200,000 tons of mixed waste annually

RePower South (RPS) has begun processing material at the company’s new recycling and recovery facility in Berkeley County, South Carolina. The recycling system, provided by Eugene, Oregon-based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS), is one of the most advanced in the world. The highly automated system is capable of processing more than 50-tons-per-hour (tph) of mixed waste to recover recyclables and produce a fuel feedstock. The facility receives material from throughout Berkeley County, processing a minimum of 120,000 tons annually. Prior to this system coming online, county residents were required to opt in and pay for household recycling or utilize drop-off recycling sites that only accepted paper and cardboard. All other recyclables were sent to landfill.

Advanced technology, including NRT optical sorters and Max-AI® AQCs (for Autonomous Quality Control) enable the system to run with minimal manual sorters. The BHS FIberPure™ process features screen, air, optical and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered robotic sorters to completely automate the production of clean fiber. Plastics and metals are also separated without manual sorting. In total, the system contains seven NRT optical sorters and nine Max-AI AQCs.

The plant also makes use of non-recyclable papers and plastics by producing ReEngineered Feedstock™ (ReEF), a clean, low-carbon renewable fuel sold to industry, cement, and utility customers to replace coal in production processes. ReEF undergoes several quality control steps, including two NRT optical sorters, which remove plastic and metal contamination. The product has been designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a non-waste fuel.

The fuel system utilizes a Loesche Energy Systems RocketMill to dry, purify and size the ReEF. Also employed in the plant are two Kadant PAAL balers. Kadant PAAL balers claim nearly half the market share in Europe, and were introduced to North America through an exclusive relationship with BHS. A PAAL Konti 500 bales all commodities headed to the secondary market, including ferrous, aluminum, cardboard, paper, and plastics; a PAAL Dokon 500 bales fuel.