Erdwich technology central to new Hong Kong WEEE processing plant

Erdwich technology central to new Hong Kong WEEE processing plant

August 19, 2019
Press Release: Erdwich

Eight processing lines form the heart of the new electronic scrap recycling plant in Hong Kong

According to a recent study, the inhabitants of Hong Kong generate an average of 21.7kg of electronic waste each a year, in addition to normal household waste. In order to provide a sustainable solution to the urban waste problem, a huge recycling park for the recycling of a wide variety of materials was constructed in the Tuen Mun district between January 2017 and May 2018. Part of the concept of this industrial park (EcoPark) is the treatment and recycling of electronic scrap, which the international recycling specialist ALBA Group managed on behalf of the city of Hong Kong. All the necessary recycling lines for electronic scrap for various devices were provided by the German company Erdwich Zerkleinerungs-Systeme. These were shipped in 76 40ft containers, weighing a combined 800 tons in three deliveries and within 12 months, the entire plant technology was gradually set up, put into operation and the personnel trained onsite. This represents the largest order in the history of Erdwich.

Around 60,000 tonnes of electrical and electronic scrap are produced each year in the Hong Kong special administrative zone with its population of 7.3 million. This includes appliances that contain contaminants and toxic substances such as mercury or CFCs, but at the same time contain valuable raw materials. In times of scarcity of raw materials and increasing environmental pollution, China also has to break new ground. In this regard, the Tuen Mun EcoPark will play an important role in the region with the help of state-of-the-art facilities operated in accordance with the latest legal regulations and will serve as a model for other Asian conurbations. In addition, a visitor center was set up to provide interested residents and tourists with the opportunity to find out about recycling technology and view the plants live during productional operation.

Erdwich, an expert in the field of plant construction for shredding technology, was commissioned by the ALBA Group to supply and install all processing lines for the major project. Divided into three consignments, the eight recycling lines embarked on the 18,544 km sea voyage to Hong Kong, where up to 24 Erdwich employees were present to receive and assemble the systems.

Challenging conditions on site due to assembly being carried out during construction of the hall
“The biggest challenge during the installation of the plants was that we had to set up our machines while the construction work on the halls continued,” reported Harald Erdwich, managing director of Erdwich Zerkleinerungs-Systeme. Further obstacles were caused by the complicated bureaucratic process on the construction site, in which each individual work step was monitored and controlled by local authorities. Special certificates were required for some assembly work and the Erdwich team was trained onsite by the site management. “This was a demand on time that we had to take into account in our scheduling,” Erdwich added.

Adaptation of shredder technology to the task at hand
“Since LCD screens and tube TVs, various types of refrigerators and air conditioners, as well as washing machines and general e-waste are in the waste mix, we had to apply various technologies to meet all requirements,” Erdwich continues. With two lines specifically designed for the recycling of LCD monitors using robot technology, each can dismantle up to 60 units an hour. Erdwich also supplied two lines for tube monitors in which the screens are processed using sawing technology.

A total of three lines with a respective throughput of 40 units an hour are used in the area of air-conditioning and cooling unit recycling. The recycling line for electronic scrap, such as washing machines or tumble dryers, but also vacuum cleaners and toasters, shreds around five tons of material per hour at full capacity. The special feature of the overall system is that the material flows can be routed in such a way that further separation and preparation steps can be optionally activated. This results in increased grade purity and material quality, which can result in higher added value.

“In the end, we were able to complete all parts of the plant by the agreed deadline, put them into operation step by step after approval by the authorities and hand them over to the plant operator,” Erdiwch concluded. “We are very proud that, as a medium-sized company, we were able to handle such a large and complex order thanks to the commitment of our experienced team.”

E-Waste World Conference & Expo will take place from Thursday 14 November to Friday 15 November at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Germany. To register for this highly focused, solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

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