Sparta helps build composting facility

Sparta Manufacturing, an equipment manufacturer based in New Brunswick, Canada, has announced its involvement in the construction of a compost processing facility for the Halifax Regional Municipality. The facility is expected to handle 60,000 tons per year and will be operated by Aim Environmental Group, Stone Creek, Ontario, an affiliate company of Maple Reinders and Harbors City Renewables.


Sparta says the new organic processing facility will incorporate the latest processes for the advanced aerobic treatment of organic waste on the front end and the efficient screening and production of high-end finished Class A compost on the back end.

The consortium, based in Canada and made up of Aim Environmental, Maple Reinders, City Renewables and Waste Treatment Technologies, designed, built and operates composting facilities in Calgary, Hamilton and Guelph. The organization commissioned Sparta to manufacture its galvanized conveying system and its systemwide steel package and to install its compost processing system. 

Sparta says the compost production plant integrates shredding, a range of screening equipment, air separation and vacuum technologies from a combination of industry leaders. 

McNeilus acquires Cartseeker vehicle automation technology

McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corp. company based in Dodge Center, Minnesota, has acquired the CartSeeker curbside automation product from Eagle Vision Systems Inc., headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario.

CartSeeker curbside automation is a patented artificial intelligence-based recognition technology that identifies and locates curbside waste carts and helps automate the operation of the truck’s robotic lift arm without joystick manipulation. The CartSeeker product will complement McNeilus’ ongoing work with autonomy by providing more potential for solutions that bring operational simplicity and high performance to customers.

McNeilus says it is focused on designing and developing technology and other heavy-duty truck advancements that move the waste industry forward. This investment in refuse collection vehicle automation drives that strategy forward.

“We put a priority on bringing our customers innovations that advance their business, and this strategic investment in autonomy boosts our product capabilities and future offerings,” says Jeff Koga, vice president and general manager of refuse collection vehicles for McNeilus.

Machinex helps WB Waste & Recycling upgrade sorting capacity

Willie Goode of WB Waste & Recycling

Machinex, based in Plessisville, Quebec, with North American offices in North Carolina, helped WB Waste & Recycling upgrade its Olive Street Recycling Facility in Capitol Heights, Maryland, adding two Mach Ballistic separators and the dual-eject Mach Hyspec optical sorter to eject polyethylene terephthalate and mixed paper, increasing the material recovery facility’s (MRF’s) overall performance.

The system processes residential single-stream and commercial materials. The Olive Street MRF was awarded several new contracts for processing additional tons of residential single-stream material, so the company needed to improve its recycling capacity to meet these requirements. As a result, it contacted Machinex to retrofit the recycling system.

On the container line, a magnet removes ferrous metals in the form of tin cans and an eddy current removes nonferrous metals, which are sorted to make a used beverage can-, or UBC-, grade aluminum.

As it does in many cases, the Machinex engineering team had to cope with a tight existing building that features a low roof when it added several pieces of equipment at the site. The retrofit increased the MRF’s sorting capacity from 10 tons per hour (tph) to 25 tph.

Dave Taylor, director of recycling at WB Waste & Recycling, says the company experienced six weeks of total downtime while Machinex upgraded its Capitol Heights MRF.

“Working with Machinex, with their customer service, it was incredible how quickly we were able to get this project off the ground and completed,” he says.

Amp Robotics supplies units to Evergreen

Evergreen, an Ohio-based producer of food-grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET), has announced it will be installing artificial intelligence-(AI-) enabled bottle sorters at its Albany, New York plastics recycling and rPET manufacturing facility.

When the installation is completed in mid-2022, Evergreen says it will have deployed 15 “high-speed, highly accurate robotic lines at its three of its United States locations.”

Colorado-based Amp Robotics Corp. will supply the robotic sorting lines to be used in Albany. Amp Robotics also installed AI-enabled robotic sorting lines at the Evergreen facility in Clyde, Ohio, in April 2021 and supplied sorters to the Evergreen Riverside plant in California last August.

“With demand for recycled PET at the highest levels in history, we simply can’t rely on outdated ways of doing business,” Evergreen President and CEO Omar Abuaita says. “Evergreen is playing for keeps. Automating our sorting lines allows us to support ever-larger PET recycling streams, provide the millions of pounds of food-grade rPET our customers have committed to purchasing and achieve a safer, more efficient work environment for our team.”

Abuaita says replacing previous manual sorting processes with high-tech robotics is part of the company’s strategic vision to transform not just the company but the overall plastics recycling industry.

“Evergreen is a leader in the transformation of recycling processes, and its application of AI-guided sortation is increasing plastic recycling rates and helping to close the loop on PET,” says Matanya Horowitz, founder and CEO of Amp Robotics. “Evergreen’s repeat orders of our systems is a testament to the operational benefits of our AI and automation solutions, and we’re proud to play a role in the company’s expansion and modernization efforts.”

In February, Abuaita revealed that Evergreen, a portfolio company of Houston-based private equity firm Sterling Group, has invested more than $200 million in modernization, capacity expansion and acquisitions over the last 12 months. The Amp Robotics units are part of that investment.

Evergreen says it now recycles more than 11.6 billion postconsumer PET bottles a year, up from 2 billion in 2021.

General Manager Greg Johnson says the AI-enabled sorting lines are an absolute necessity to increase both the speed and accuracy of sorting the growing volume of PET bottles Evergreen processes.

“With the use of AI-powered robotics, we can identify and pick more contaminants from the stream, leaving high-quality clear and green PET bottles to be recycled,” he says. “The consistency and reliability of the robots has revolutionized our process. Our goal is to capture all bottles we can use in our food-grade rPET pellets.”

Evergreen’s annual capacity of food-grade rPET is 73,500 tons, up from 20,000 tons just one year ago. When the company’s expansion at Evergreen Clyde is completed in mid-2022, its annual rPET capacity will reach 108,500 tons, according to the firm.

Established in 1998, Evergreen operates its original plant in Ohio, plus three plants it subsequently has acquired in Albany, Riverside and in Amherst, Nova Scotia.