Industrial Plastic Container Recycling
Green Processing Company Inc (GPC) recycles plastic packaging and containers. The containers were originally used for shipping raw material and finished goods. Our focus is HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene), HDPE Structural Foam, PP (Polypropylene), HMW-PE (High Molecular Weight Polyethylene), and PP/HDPE comingled. These plastics originated as totes, collapsible bins, pallets, and trays. Containers that can no longer be used or refurbished must be recycled in a traditional sense.
What is the process of container recycling?
Container recycling including a number of steps and procedures.
- First, the containers are inspected for contaminants. A number of contaminants exist, including metal, paper, other plastics, rubber, and residue. Since containers are used to ship products, there could be grease or oil on the plastic that has to be cleaned.
- Next is the cleaning process. Cleaning in the recycling-sense means removing the contaminants that were found. The containers and pallets are cut up using power tools so that all of the contaminants are exposed and removed.
- The third step is the shredding. Packaging scrap is generally large and heavy and requires a process called ‘pre shredding’. This is simply size reduction, completed by a single ram, 200 horsepower, 25,000 lb, enormous plastic shredder. This machine is capable of processing over 7,500 lbs of plastic per hour. The shredder plastic is dumped onto a conveyer belt that passes over a magnet.Ferrous metal (steel) is automatically removed from the conveyor belt and dumped onto the ground below. The clean plastic is dumped onto a second conveyor belt. That plastic passes through a metal detector, just like something an airport would use. The metal detector is extremely sensitive. It will recognize staples and even gum wrappers. If metal, ferrous or non-ferrous is recognized, the entire conveyor line and granulator will automatically shut down and an alarm will sound. The clean and contamination-free shred is fed into a 200 horsepower granulator. The material is ground into 1/2” (or smaller) pieces and gravity discharged onto a third conveyor. This container dumps the regrind into
gaylordboxes, holding over 1,000 lbs of material. But prior to discharge, the material passes over a strong magnet, just to make certain that no metal products end up in the regrind.
- The clean regrind is stored in a warehouse until a full load is ready, which is usually 42,000 lbs. Our material is used by injection
moldersand thermoformersin North America. Injection molding ina process whereby a material is injected into a cavity, heated, and then cooled once the cavity is filled.
GPC is one of the largest users of our HDPE Structural Foam. This material is used to make brand new collapsible containers and bins. The material is used along with a foaming agent that adds strength and allows the containers to be made lighter without conceding durability. Thermoforming virtually takes a sheet and then stamps out parts from the original plain sheet. Our regrind is used to make the sheets. It’s melted and extruded.
GPC is responsible for recycling in excess of 50,000,000 lbs annually, making us one of the largest industrial and packaging recyclers in North America.