New sorting technology churns out cleaner paper at recycling centre

By Michael Boriero – Local ­Journalism Initiative Reporter

Récup Estrie upgraded its recycling facility in June when it purchased and installed the new Mistral+ optical sorting technology, which makes it easier for the centre to parse through paper, cardboard, hard plastics and bottles.
“Every two or three years I do a big project here,” said Récup engineer and general manager Taraneh Sépahsalari. “We want to make sure that we’re following the technology available for us in the market.
RECYC-QUÉBEC helped Récup with the initiative by investing $500,000 into the facility. The rest of the funds came directly from the recycling centre. In total, the Mistral+, created by PELLENC Selective Technologies, set them back $2.8 million.
While it cost a lot to acquire and install the new equipment, Sépahsalari explained that it was necessary in order to stand out and improve the centres performance, both economically and environmentally.
“For us, it was very important to make sure that the paper is recyclable,” she said. “It was just mixed paper, it wasn’t very good the quality that we were making here; too much contamination in it.”
Prior to purchasing the Mistral+, Récup was pulling out paper with about a 16 to 17 per cent contamination rate. According to Sépahsalari, the percentage has dropped significantly to between 2 and 5 per cent.
It becomes much easier for companies like Cascades Recovery+ and ­Kruger Recycling to take Récup’s clean paper materials and transform that into fresh paper for mass consumption.
“When there is contamination they have another step in their facility to make sure that it doesn’t get in the paper; new paper that they’re making,” Sépahsalari said.
This initiative also eliminates the centre’s longstanding practice of hiring outside contractors to take their paper and transport it to another facility for proper cleaning.

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