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Illinois-based Area Recycling MRF Celebrates New Upgrades

The facility’s new sorting equipment was built and installed by Machinex over a two-month period.

After a two-month construction and installation period, Pekin, Ill.-based Area Recycling Inc. (ARI) launched its new, state-of-the-art materials recovery system. The expansion and equipment upgrade represent a $3.5 million business investment for parent company PDC.

“The recycling industry is at a critical point in its history, and the value of recycling material is at a historic low. This new sort system produces a purer recycled commodity, and it does it four times as fast as the old equipment. Adding value to our end product is one way to reinvigorate recycling,” said PDC Vice President Matt Coulter in a statement.

The sort equipment was built and installed by Machinex, a sorting technologies provider of custom-built, cutting-edge sort systems.

Machinex designed the current system to process 12 tons per hour of residential single stream, but it can be easily upgraded to 18 tons per hour in the future. The system features a completely new front end that includes a new MACH Triple Deck OCC (old corrugated container) screen to reduce wrapping and improve cardboard recovery. Along with the OCC screen, a MACH Ballistic Separator was installed instead of a traditional disc screen to separate the fibers from containers. This ballistic separator solution reduces maintenance in a significant way for the operator because it has no exposed shafts for material to wrap around and there are no rubber discs to replace. Also included in the current system upgrade are new metal separation equipment, such as an overbelt magnet for ferrous metals and a new Machinex Eddy Current Separator for recovering the aluminum cans in the processing stream.

"Machinex is extremely proud of the results of this project, and we are especially pleased with the confidence shown by Area Recycling. Our flexibility, our listening and our responsiveness put them in confidence with us and, as always, we ensured that the design of the system was meeting their needs," said Chris Hawn, CEO of the Machinex USA Division, in a statement.

As part of the equipment overhaul, ARI added more than 8,000 square feet of space to the Pekin processing plant. The metal building was fabricated in Iowa and installed by CORE Construction of Morton using local trade workers. The new sort system created five new green jobs at the processing facility. It also represents PDC’s commitment to recycling.

“We made this sizeable investment because we know the recycling industry will survive this downturn. Adapting to changing markets and creating a better end product is our vision realized,” said Coulter.

The sort system launch was unveiled during an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 6. Area Recycling is located on Route 29 in South Pekin. PDC is a private, family-owned business with more than 90 years in the solid waste industry.

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