In late 2018, New Jersey recyclers demanded that local governments remove mixed #3-#7 plastics from their curbside collection programs, which resulted in little change in those tonnages received. Tiffanie, of G&F Recycling located in Newark, NJ, understood that they couldn’t justify placing manual inspection sorters on the line to remove low value plastics, while avoiding added disposal costs. Tiffanie requested that Green Machine look into performing R&D on their existing GREEN EYE Hyperspectral Optical Sorter to improve their #3-#7 plastics sorting.

G&F had recently deployed a high capacity GREEN EYE to sort their high volumes of PET plastics, while their existing five-year-old GREEN EYE was placed after the new sorter to process all their HDPE plastics. In an effort to solve G&F’s problem, Green Machine set out to program G&F’s preexisting GREEN EYE to positively sort out all the #3-#7 plastics, while leaving the large HDPE plastics for hand sorting further down the line.

Green Machine’s optical engineer specialist, Neal Eason, led the field R&D endeavor. Neal says, “Green Machine’s patented GREEN EYE Hyperspectral Optical Sorter is essentially a high-speed spectrophotometer utilizing patented hyperspectral artificial intelligence. The machine can be trained to differentiate and separate a wide range of different plastic polymers, as well as other materials, individually or all at the same time. Giordano’s GREEN EYE is now programmed to sort #3-#7 plastics and a variety of other materials.”

Neal went on to explaining the results, “The enhancements made on their optical sorting system were so outstanding that Giordano’s GREEN EYE is currently able to produce highly marketable bales of #3-#7’s (see picture below). This reduced their labor and cut down their residue disposal costs. This feat is rarely accomplished in the recycling industry today. Now, Tiffanie and her father Pat need to decide whether to open the gates on #3-#7s”.

Green Machine’s patented GREEN EYE Hyperspectral Optical Sorters have now successfully added #3-#7s to the long list of materials they’re capable of identifying and separating including; SOP, OCC, newspapers, fibers, plastics, wood, textiles, aggregates, ASR, e-scrap, and more!

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