Organics-to-go on the menu

Equipment providers are focusing on modularity and electrification as ways to responsibly and efficiently handle the organics stream.

Photo courtesy of Doppstadt Umwelttechnik GmbH

Solid waste districts in North America increasingly are opting or being mandated to divert organic materials ranging from food scraps to land-clearing debris away from landfills.

Preparing these materials for their end markets can require a combination of sorting and size-reduction steps, with technology providers around the world keen to offer the best equipment.

Fitting in

Germany-based Doppstadt Umwelttechnik GmbH, which serves North American customers through Avon, Ohio-based Ecoverse Industries, is increasing its market share in the organics processing space by offering a combination of modular and electric-powered equipment featuring efficient, low-carbon footprints in an era of increased attention to sustainability.

At the European IFAT trade fair in April of this year, Doppstadt displayed its MMPC modular plant system that includes its Methor Multitool shredder, a spiral shaft separator, a wind sifter and mobile machine-side and sorting conveyors.

“It allows all the standard Doppstadt machines and components to be combined to create a smart overall solution,” says Michael Zeppenfeldt, head of sales for Germany at Doppstadt.

Customers receiving mixed or multiple material streams can benefit from the setup, Doppstadt says, since the plant layout can be changed quickly by adding or replacing specific machine components.

“Our mobile-modular processing concept offers our customers a future-proof solution, which does not only ensure flexible application but also legal conformity and economic efficiency,” Zeppenfeldt says.

The equipment company lists construction and demolition materials, green waste, sludges and industrial byproducts as candidates for deployment of an MMPC system.

Doppstadt touts the fuel efficiency of its modular equipment outfitted with conventional engines, claiming a 30 percent to 40 percent reduction in energy costs compared with other systems.

Spin me round

Not all organics processing equipment needs to be portable. Chattanooga, Tennessee-based Torxx Kinetic Inc. offers its line of Torxx Kinetic Pulverizers for numerous waste and recycling applications, including the “preparation and finishing of organic material and compost.”

The firm says its devices use aerodynamic “matter-on-matter” reduction to create what Torxx describes as “a fine, homogeneous product.”

In that process, feedstock is agitated in the machine by the formation of vortices within the drum, which create enough force for material to shatter against itself, Torxx says. “Brittle material is reduced to finer particles, while ductile material remains larger,” the firm explains.

The drum-shaped machines create a “differential sizing” process designed to remove contaminants. “A wide range of feedstocks can be processed at high capacities, such as mixed-waste organics, compost overs and biomass, as well as material recovery facility fines, wood, asphalt shingles, drywall and glass,” according to Torxx.

Before material is composted, Torxx says its Kinetic Pulverizer can upgrade the inbound material in numerous ways, including homogenizing and blending it; reducing pathogens; reducing glass contaminants into sand; and reducing items such as bones, rocks, seeds and wood fragments.

At the end of the composting process, the pulverizer performs some of the same functions and can help mitigate the presence of inert pieces to help meet local regulations, Torxx says.

Finally, the company says its pulverizer can allow multiple feedstock streams to be processed simultaneously in a compost facility setting. Torxx lists pulp and paper sludge, peat moss, sand and porosity agents as potential feedstock.

Considering the alternatives

Gasoline or diesel engine-powered wood grinders might have been the mainstays in converting yard waste and scrap wood into an organics-based product, but manufacturers are responding to requests to use electric power as an alternative.

Iowa-based Vermeer Corp. offers its HG4000E and HG6000E horizontal grinder models to wood processors seeking a plugged-in (and potentially quieter) option. “Many stationary grinding operations are turning to electric-powered machines to manage the cost of operation,” Vermeer says in product literature promoting its electric options.

The company says electric-powered equipment can eliminate some maintenance costs associated with diesel engines, such as oil and filter replacements.

Vermeer says the noise level on electric-powered equipment is “significantly decreased” and that the models “do not produce as much heat or emissions” as gas models. Additionally, it says electric motors “can be more reliable and require less frequent maintenance intervals.”

Doppstadt also is among companies introducing electric-powered versions of the machines that comprise its organics treatment systems.

“We are working on the electrification of our entire machine portfolio,” Doppstadt Group Managing Director Gerd Schreier says. “With our leading-edge processing systems, we want to make a valuable contribution to climate and environmental protection.”

A landfill operator in the Pacific Northwest turned to its Doppstadt dealer for equipment to help it downsize green waste and scrap tires that arrive on its property.

According to Ecoverse Industries, Tracy Reed, operator of the Horn Rapids municipal landfill in Richland, Washington, needed to replace equipment at the landfill that included a drum screen and a shredder.

Reed turned to Doppstadt and Ecoverse dealer PacWest Machinery, which recommended an Inventhor 6 shredder and an SM 720.2 K drum screening machine.

“The Inventhor 6 not only shreds our daily standard input but is also suitable for numerous other demanding materials such as car tires,” Reed says.

He says the new machines offer “significantly more productivity, as well as less fuel consumption and wear and tear.”

At the Horn Rapids landfill, the daily refueling of its processing machines is “a thing of the past,” Reed says. “Our teams can take care of other projects at the same time while the Doppstadt machines are running smoothly.”

The author is senior editor of Recycling Today Media Group and can be reached at btaylor@gie.net.

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