As there is only flint glass production in Hungary, there was only a market for flint flat and packaging glass domestically. The collected and treated mixed packaging glass was exported as mix-glass.
Mátyás Máthé took over as the new owner of RE-Glass in 2016. As managing director, he is assisted by Ferenc Aszódi. The reason for this decision is that Hungary lags behind the EU average and standards for glass waste collection and recycling. Hungary’s government has begun planning to implement a deposit fee system for packaging glass in 2023, in order to meet EU expectations. This would also keep this material flow out of landfills.
Mátyás Máthé and Ferenc Aszódi explain: “These two pieces of information have induced us to embark on a major development that is going to be able to process the heavily contaminated glass waste from the current collection system. It will also be able to process the larger amount of cleaner glass waste generated by the deposit fee collection system.“
In 2018, Mátyás Máthé and Ferenc Aszódi visited IFAT in Munich to meet several suppliers of sorting technologies before choosing KRS GmbH, a subsidiary of Sesotec GmbH. Together with KRS, RE-Glass has built the most modern bottle glass sorting and processing plant in Hungary with a capacity of 8-10 tons per hour.
Foreign materials posed the biggest challenge to the new plant. Contaminants such as ceramics, stones, porcelain (CSP), metals, paper, and plastics comprise as much as 15 to 20% of the total weight of all collected glass waste. To overcome this challenge, KRS supplied a sorting system that meets these requirements.
Four SPEKTRUM separation systems are connected in the line. They separate foreign materials such as magnetic and non-magnetic metals, CSP, non-transparent plastics, and special glass materials, and sort the mixed glass waste by color. The results are contaminant-free and color-pure streams of glass material.
The plant was commissioned in October 2019. Less than a year later in 2020, an additional 600-square-meter hall was added to house new equipment. Surrounding the hall is an approximately 3,500-square-meter paved area with an 800-square-meter covered and 600-square-meter open storage area. Hungarian companies, in close cooperation with KRS, built the supporting structure of the halls, manufactured and installed the conveyor belts and the electrical wiring, and also built the PLC control system for the entire production plant.
A successful trial run took place in September 2020, during which KRS specialists set up the sorting units and installed the Sesotec VISUDESK software. With VISUDESK, it is possible to monitor the four SPEKTRUM sorters remotely, make fine adjustments, and track error messages. In this way, KRS can check settings and provide remote support if necessary.
The technology provided by KRS and Sesotec makes it possible to produce high-quality recycled glass cullet that are the perfect product for reuse in the glass industry. “Color sorting technology has helped us increase the amount of flint glass that we produce for the domestic market,” says RE-Glass Owner, Mátyás Máthé. “At the same time, our mixed glass exports now contain a smaller proportion of flint glass. The processing quality and quantity have also increased. We hope that our government will introduce a deposit system as announced. With a new deposit system in place, we can continue to successfully operate in three shifts, or even begin to operate continuously using the equipment supplied to us by KRS.”
“However, our latest technology line selects all foreign materials (magnetizable and non-magnetizable metals, individual paper and plastic waste); four optical sorters are built one behind the other to ensure that ceramics and wire glass are also taken out of the glass waste. Therefore, a completely contamination-free glass product is obtained.
Additionally, we sort mixed glass waste collected by us or our partners by color. Above all these, according to the demands of our cus tomers, we are able to set the color selection rate with an accuracy of 1-2%. One of our Hungarian partners produces glass foam from 0 – 6 mm glass culle t. So you can say that the glass waste we process continues its life as a 100% glass product. The circular economy is a reality, and RE-Glass is making a big contribution here“, adds RE-Glass Managing Director Ferenc Aszódi.