Germany's Otto Graf GmbH moves into recycling

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Photo by Otto Graf Laying the foundation for a future secure supply of high quality recyclate

Otto Graf, a German company specialised in rain, storm and waste water management systems, is investing some EUR 30m in the construction of a new "Competence Centre for Raw Materials" in Herbolzheim, not far from the company’s location in Teningen. Here, the company, which already uses a very high proportion of recycled material in its products, plans to set up recycling operations that will not only secure the company’s future supply of raw material, but will also produce extremely high quality regranulate – “rivalling virgin material”, said the company.

Until now, it has been virtually impossible using conventional technology to separate the black PP and PE waste mainly derived from food packaging trays and the like.

At the new plant, for the first time a number of process steps will be linked together employing new plant technologies and new compounding, separation, mixing and formulation processes, forming an integrated process chain running from sorting to recycling and quality control.

The 24,000 meter2 plant is being built on a new site in Herzbolheim. Twelve 30-metre raw material silos are being installed.

According to the company, this project will replace 45,000 tonnes of virgin material, thus avoiding at least 90,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. The use of energy-saving delivery methods will yield a further annual energy saving of around 450,000 kilowatt hours, driving down CO2 emissions by another 240 tons per year. Additional energy savings will be achieved through the use of waste heat.

The investment is being funded by the environmental innovation program of the Federal Environment Ministry with a grant of some eight million euros. Construction has already begun. On August 14, the foundation was laid. Starting in the summer of 2018, the centre will commence operations with 40 employees, the company said.

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