GAIA and Iren Ambiente have contracted German recycling firm STADLER to design and build two recycling plants in Asti and Parma, Italy.

The €10m plant at the Asti Waste Treatment Centre is designed for the sorting of plastic and metal packaging from separate waste collections.

It is equipped with several advanced technologies, including a feeding and pre-sorting section, a mechanical and optical sorting line and a storage and baling line.

The facility also includes a sorting cabin that is used to select bulky products manually. This was inaugurated last October.

The plant will process 50,000t of plastic and metal packaging from the Asti basin, the Iren Group, Val d’Aosta and other clients a year.

Its output materials will include transparent, coloured and light blue polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP).

The second sorting plant is located in Parma and designed for plastic, paper and cardboard.

It is currently under construction and expected to be completed shortly.

The plant features a 9t/h plastic sorting line that can process PET, HDPE and PP bottles, PE and PP films, bulky plastics, mixed plastic packaging, and non-ferrous and ferrous metals.

It also has a paper sorting line with a capacity of 20t/h that processes cardboard, mixed paper and deinking.

GAIA CEO and Iren Ambiente technical manager Flaviano Fracaro said: “The sorting plant is like an open-air mine, but instead of extracting raw materials from the planet, it recovers them, avoiding the dispersion of plastics in the environment or the saturation of landfills that no longer need to receive recoverable materials.

“We chose STADLER after an extensive technical and economical evaluation process. STADLER was able to design plants capable of treating different types of materials with great efficiency, and in terms of the support we received, their engineers and technicians were at our side in every phase of the project.”