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Multi-Stream Recycling System Processes 10-12 Tons Per Hour

Infeed Conveyor to Multi-Stream Recycling System

Infeed Conveyor to Multi-Stream Recycling System

A recycling company recently added a Sort 10 Multi Stream System (Sort 10 MSS) to their existing single stream sorting system. MetalTech Systems, located in Pawleys Island, South Carolina supplied screens and additional picking stations to their existing equipment, along with design, and start up assistance. The design of the mechanical separation equipment in the Sort 10 MSS allows for the processing of single stream recyclables, commercial, office, and industrial waste at a rate of 10-12 tons per hour.

The Sort 10 MSS has a two distinct advantages not seen in other sorting systems:

1. By eliminating rubber disc / star screens, the Sort 10 MSS does not require any presorting. The presort pickers can now be moved to the OCC line to recover recyclables, rather than preventing costly repairs associated with wires, plastic film wrapping, and other damaging items that are presented to the disc/star screens.

2. Another advantage of the Sort 10 MSS is the reduction of costly downtime for cleaning and maintenance due to wear and damage associated with the high speed rotation of discs. A common problem that occurs on a rubber disc/star screen, is a reduction in screening efficiency. Wear increases the openings between the discs, causing an increase in lost recyclables. This effect of wear on conventional discs also means more cross contamination of the fiber and container fractions across a disc screen, then increasing the contamination of final separated product. The elimination of discs removes the processing issues associated with cold weather and moisture that can reduce the capacity of the rubber discs or star screen to process material.

The Sort 10 MSS System

front end loader feeding material into infeed bunker

Front-end Loader Feeding Material into Infeed Bunker

The Sort 10 MSS system starts with a front end loader feeding material into a metering bunker conveyor. Then, the incoming waste stream is elevated to be processed across a vibratory rod deck screen to separate two fractions. The large material, such as OCC, bulky plastics, plastic film, and pallets carries over the top and is deposited on the “A” sorting line. This rod deck primary screen also creates an undersized fraction that is sent to the secondary finger screen, where about 65-75% of broken glass from the inbound waste material is removed. The removal of this broken glass fraction greatly reduces wear on downstream equipment and contamination issues in the final separated products. The intermediate fraction of material from the primary and secondary screens will then be sent to the ballistic separator to further process the waste stream.

Vibrating OCC Finger Screen

The ballistic separator makes a 3 fraction separation. The 3 dimensional rigid rolling items roll down the paddles to the tail end, the head end of the ballistic separator will carry over the 2 dimensional flat flexible fraction, while the minus 2 inch sieve mesh openings on top of the paddles will allow the remaining 25-35% of small glass to drop from the flow of recyclables.

Sort and Separate Paper, Plastic & Glass - Recycling

The 3D rolling ridged fraction from the tail end of the ballistic separator consists of containers (plastic bottles, tin/ferrous cans, HDPE bottles, and aluminum cans). The ballistic separator creates a very clean stream of containers, which has negligible fiber, thus meaning less lost recyclables (residue) from the container sorting process. This stream of containers is then presented to an overhead magnet to remove the ferrous metals. Next, a series of manual sorting stations separate PET #1, HDPE colored and natural, #2 and mixed plastics #3-#7. At the end of this manual sorting line is an eddy current separator that recovers the non-ferrous from the remaining residue, which is typically less than 3% of the in bound volume.

The 2D flat flexible fraction from the ballistic separator consists primarily of paper and small cardboard. This sorting line is used for the manual sorting of trash and containers from the remaining fiber stream, which discharges off the end into a bunker for storage prior to baling. It should be noted the average cross contamination of containers in the fiber stream after the ballistic separator is less than 3% of the paper volume.

All separated commodities are then sent to the baler before onsite storage and shipment.


  • With the elimination of rubber disc/star screen technology from the sorting process, this allows the MRF to be more flexible and capable of processing different waste streams in the same system.  The MRF has reduced labor costs, minimized lost revenue from residue, and minimized cleaning and maintenance downtime. The system produces a cleaner baled product, which increase the selling price per ton.
  • This recycling and sorting system has 8-9 operators, while processing at a rate of 4-6 tons per hour. For processing at 10 tons per hour, expect 9-12 operators depending on material composition and tonnage.
  • While a Sort 10 MSS will fit into a 5,000 square foot area, the retro fit at this particular facility covers an estimated 5,500-6,500 square feet.

Optional Items Ordered

  • Automatic bag opening system for MSW material and bagged recyclables.
  • Storage and metering system for consistent material delivery and to allow the loader to be freed up for other functions.
  • Glass cleanup equipment to further process mixed broken glass to a quality specification acceptable to market.
  • Optical sorting equipment to reduce the manual sorting requirements for the PET fraction.

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