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Coolrec’s new separator transforms discarded appliances into guaranteed quality plastics

16 June 2021

Nieuwe scheider

Coolrec, a subsidiary of Renewi and European market leader in WEEE (waste from electrical and electronic equipment) recycling, has invested €0.5 million in an electrostatic separator in order to generate more kinds of high-value secondary raw materials. Today, 15 June 2021, Coolrec is holding a small ceremony at its Waalwijk site at which, among others, customers, value chain partners such as the OPEN Foundation (Organisation for Producer Responsibility for E-waste Netherlands), the alderman of the city of Waalwijk and Renewi CEO Otto de Bont will be present to see the machine commissioned. The machine will process about 6,000 metric tons a year of mixed discarded electrical appliances and convert it into ABS and HIPS plastic flakes with a purity of at least 98%. The secondary raw materials are very well suited to making new products.

The European market leader in WEEE recycling has constructed the machine in two phases; the first consists of a large impurity separator to remove mixed waste streams such as paper, wood fibres or pieces of rubber from the plastic streams to be purified. The second process sorts plastic by type on the basis of the electromagnetic load, so as ultimately to produce different sorts of secondary raw materials (such as ABS and HIPS plastic flakes) for use in new products.

The new production line currently stands out in the production of ABS and HIPS flakes, with a purity of more than 98%. This performance makes the secondary granules almost as good as primary raw materials, and puts Coolrec in a position to improve the sorting, processing and creation of high-value recycled materials still further.

“With this new investment Coolrec positions itself as one of the most sustainable WEEE recyclers in Europe,” says Dieter Avonds, Managing Director of Coolrec. “We continue to improve our secondary raw materials production process and make material that can scarcely be distinguished from new. Our ability to produce secondary raw materials with a purity of 98% shows the plastics industry that the conditions are there for making plastic products still more circular.”

Jan Vlak, manager of the OPEN Foundation is enthusiastic. He says: “From our producer system we assure a continuous supply of discarded appliances for recycling. By optimising collaboration in the chain we stimulate innovative techniques for maximising the recovery of raw materials. With this, Coolrec is taking a huge step towards making the e-waste sector circular.”

“Constant research into new ways of reducing CO2 emissions and creating higher quality secondary raw materials forms part of our Renewi DNA,” says Otto de Bont, CEO of Renewi. “This investment is in line with Renewi's mission of recycling to a high value 75% of the waste we collect. We’re glad to see that Coolrec remains a leading light for the circular economy business.”