What is Industrial Equipment Recycling?

Blog | September 27th, 2018

Unlike consumer recycling efforts, where you can transport your waste to a designated reclamation centre, industrial equipment recyclers target heavier items. In the past, those items would lay in the shadow of an industrial complex, rusting into oblivion. Old boilers and production machinery, vehicle parts and printing presses, they’d all be left to decompose behind large buildings. This out of sight, out of mind mindset is no longer acceptable.

What is Industrial Equipment Waste?

It’s easy enough to transport an occasional machine frame or a load of vehicle parts to a recycling centre, but that methodical approach falls apart when the targeted scrap equipment is heavy, oversized, and cumbersome. It’s here that a recycling agency applies their logistical approach to the issue. They encounter entire conveyor system assemblies, multiple stages of printing presses, old furnaces and boilers, tractor parts, other larger than average mobile equipment components, and much more.

Breaking Down Large-scale Machinery 

The gear isn’t going anywhere until it’s disassembled and manageable. Logistically, the plans for the old equipment are accessed. The plans tie into the logistics schedule, so environmentally harmful components are removed first. Separated from the equipment scrap heap, the recycling team unfastens the nuts and bolts of machine parts. Plastics and glass stacks are labelled and sealed. Rubber fittings and metal assemblies are cut free, perhaps by a blade or pair of shears. More often than not, however, the services of a welding torch are called in to dismantle all-in-one machine assemblies. Those unibody parts just can’t be broken down in any other way.

Pre and Post Disassembly Operations 

Importantly, waste equipment can contain hazardous chemicals or toxic waste. Handled improperly, that caustic stuff could leak and enter a drainage system or a nearby land parcel, where it’ll then poison the local water supply. It’s the job of an industrial equipment recycler to devise a hazardous waste handling program. Protecting themselves and the local environment, the equipment can’t be transported or dismantled until these unknown hazards are identified and expertly tackled. Then, when the safety-centric operations and dismantling processes are complete, the logistics cycle activates again to make sure the differently separated material packages are lifted onto wide-load trailers.

And still, the work isn’t done yet. The industrial equipment recycling procedure separates the materials and assigns them to their pallets and processing lots. In here, the glass and plastic, metals and other reclaimable materials are further broken down. Left now in the hands of the recycling manager, the gear is crunched by large mechanical crushers and shredders. For example, having been shredded, those metal parts are sent off to a smelting plant, where they can be melted down.