The increasing number of population is directly proportional to the amount of waste being generated into the environment and thus causing pollution. This has presented a major crisis today as poor management of these waste has resulted in implications such as:
- Groundwater contamination which results from municipal solid waste being dumped directly into water bodies by means of leaching from waste dumping sites.
- Air pollution as a result of decomposing waste which results in the release of carbon dioxide and methane gases into the environment or as a result of incineration that releases poisonous gaseous fumes into the atmosphere.
- Health-related risks as this wastes harbour the growth of disease-causing microorganisms.
Municipal solid waste is composed of materials such as furniture, clothing, waste paper, glass metallic objects and even heavy metals. In order for proper management of these wastes, there has been the development of a municipal solid waste sorting machine that allows the sorting of different waste which can then be handled separately at recycling or disposal sites.
Components of a municipal solid waste sorting machine
1.Bag breaking machine: it is used to break down any plastic bags holding waste enabling the waste inside the bag to be sorted easily.
2.Manual sorting platform: enables sorting of large solid wastes manually.
3.Auto feeder: it feeds the municipal solid waste into the machine for sorting.
4.Conveyor belts; these help in spreading the municipal solid waste uniformly for purposes of sorting.
5.Rotating screening machine: it enables sorting of the municipal waste according to size and this increases the efficiency of the municipal solid waste sorting machine.
6.Comprehensive winnowing machine: this system has holes and uses a fan to separate different types of wastes such as heavy waste, less heavy materials and light plastic materials.
7.Magnetic separator: it uses the principle of magnetism to sort metallic waste material where all metallic materials are attracted on to the magnetic separator and thus sorted.
8.Auto packing machine: this system packs the different waste materials after separation allowing for easy recycling or duping. For more detailed process, here: https://kingtigergroup.com/waste-sorting-machine/.
Working process of a municipal solid waste sorting machine
Municipal waste, after being received from the discharging point is fed into the waste sorting machine via the auto feeding system. The waste is then directed into the conveyor belts that uniformly distribute it and then conveyed into the manual sorting system where bulky and large wastes such as the construction bricks, clothing and branches are manually sorted by an operator. The bag breaker then breaks down polythene bags containing wastes mainly from household refuse, hospitals and office so that it can be efficiently sorted. These wastes are then sent into the rotating screening machine which then sorts out the waste according to size and diameter. Materials below 50mm which are mainly organic are sorted here. The waste is then conveyed into the magnetic separator which separates metallic materials such as iron. From the magnetic separator, the waste is taken through the comprehensive winnowing system that separates the heavy wastes such as stones, plastic waste and clothing waste. All the sorted waste is directed to the auto packing system where is pressed and packed differently and then sent to either the recycling or dumping sites.
Advantages of using a municipal solid waste sorting machine
1. The machine has a high working efficiency. This is achieved by the automated feeding systems, the conveyor belts and the rotating screening machine.
2. The process of sorting is simple as most of it is automated except for the manual sorting system that requires an operator.
3. It is an effective way of reducing environmental pollution as it eases the process of getting rid of the waste by dumping or recycling.
4. Most of the sorted materials such as plastics, metals and organic waste can be used to produce useful products.
5. It has a deodorizing system that reduces bad odours during the process of waste sorting. This provides a conducive environment throughout the process.
Uses of various sorted waste material
1. Organic matter is directly channelled into the compost workshops where it is used to make manure for agricultural practices.
2. Bricks and stones separated are used in the construction industry for building purposes.
3. Plastic sorted can be used in pyrolysis machines in the manufacture of oil and carbon black.
4. Metallic materials can be used to form new steel products.
5. Materials that cannot be recycled can be used in landfilling or incinerated.