Step 3: Sorting Stations
The first two stations are dedicated to sorting out contaminants. Common contaminants include ceramics, Pyrex, aluminum cans, light bulbs, cardboard, window frames, and mirrors. The remaining stations are dedicated to sorting out non-brown glass, which is batch processed later.
Step 5: Trommel
Broken glass particles are passed through a revolving screen and sorted into 3/8” and 3/4” sizes. Fans propel the paper labels detached during breaking through the trommel and into a paper recycling bin.
Items that don’t shatter and cannot fit through the screens (corks, caps, lids, errant labels) are collected and recycled.
Step 6: Fluidized Bed Drier
A smooth ribbon of glass particles enters the drier in a 4” bed. Vibratory action moves the particles through the drier.
Air is heated to 190 degrees F, using natural gas and forced through the bed of the drier. Think air hockey. Sugars and bacteria are burned and label glue is loosened. Residue floats to the top and is sucked away via our vacuum system.
Step 8: Pulverizer
Glass particles that are too big to fit through the primary screen are sent through the pulverizer. Similar to the breaker, the pulverizer uses 36 hammers inside a small enclosure to aggressively reduce particles size. All particles recirculate until they finally pass through the primary screen.
Step 9: Secondary Rotary Screen Size Classifier
Particles that are small enough to pass through the primary screen are then processed through the secondary screen. Particles are separated into four size grades:
• 12 mesh to 20 mesh
• 20 mesh to 40 mesh
• 40 mesh to 70 mesh
• 70 mesh and smaller
Each size grade is used for different end markets.
Uses for Glass Cullet
• Glass container manufacturing
• Fiberglass manufacturing
• Abrasives (sandblast media, etc)
• Flux / binder in ceramics and bricks
• Filler in paint and plastic
• Hydroponic rooting medium
• Adsorbent and cation exhange (an alternative to natural clays and zeolites, fly ash – calcium silicate hydrate)
• Filtration medium (swimming pools and potentially municipal water)
• Frictionator in matches and ammunition
• Additive and flux in metal foundry