Sustainable Converting

Why production waste might be more valuable than it is perceived

be gained from post-production waste in terms of revenue and service is also beneficial. Many converters will already use recycling companies to process production waste products, which provides either another source of revenue, or reduces waste bills while also being more environmentally friendly. Vanden Recycling is the UK arm of Vanden


Global, it uses its network of end markets to maximise revenue and improve sustainability processes for end-use materials — its full circle recycling solution ensures waste products, created from converting operations, are sent to be used in new products typically in the UK and Europe. Vanden also prides itself on the service it

provides as part of this solution. “First and foremost, we often hear that converters don’t get an on-time collection of their waste material,” says Damien van Leuven, managing director, Vanden Global. “For Vanden Recycling, it is important that we respond quickly, so we will have the material collected within 48 hours, or often within 48 hours following the phone call telling us when collection is required.” When appointed to work with a converter,

Vanden Recycling initially makes an assessment of how service levels can be improved, as well as investigating ways in which more revenue can be generated from material sales, either by reducing the collection bill or, in some cases, providing a

ust as using a comparison site to change a home utility or car insurance provider is worthwhile, researching whether more can

larger return from the sale of a recycled material. “We provide space saving stillages as part of

our full circle recycling solution,” adds van Leuven. “This means that the material can be segregated during the production stage using the different stillages to ensure a cleaner material and therefore a better product. “Some companies mix the polymer collections,

but this adds cost and time to separate the material, while also resulting in a less pure final product. The added contamination levels that occur as a result of mixing the polymers, leads to a lower price and therefore less return for the converter.” Vanden’s space saving stillages can also be

colour coded if necessary to help the operator to separate the waste materials into the different polymer types. The company will also create bespoke stillages to improve the location of them for the worker. “Stillages are often positioned in such a way

that leads to contamination, but we will assess the best positioning for the worker to segregate the waste materials, and design the stillages to ensure they fit best into the space,” says van Leuven. “Part of our assessment process is to also see

where there might be opportunities for more revenue from materials that might not have been considered previously, or from reducing the amount of contamination to improve the end revenue from the material sale.” Vanden Recycling will collect a wide range of

waste polymer types from the printing process including PP, PET, PVC, HDPE, ABS and PS.

At the point the material is collected, Vanden

will drop off empty stillages to replace those being collected and will give the customer weight tickets to ensure they are not being short changed. “The feedback that we have had from existing

customers in the printing sector suggests that when Vanden Recycling has taken a contract over more revenue has been generated for the client, simply because we are completely transparent by providing weight tickets,” says van Leuven. “It seems that their previous provider would

under-estimate the weight of the material, leading to less rebate for the customer. We don’t believe that is right so provide full transparency on what we collect and the value of the material.” Once the material has been collected by

Vanden it is typically taken to its Peterborough facility. Here the material can undergo further segregation if necessary: it can be granulated, de- dusted or have metals removed. It will then be sold into markets including the

UK and Western Europe where the sheet is produced to be turned into new product. Vanden also prides itself on the close

relationship it has with its customers. “The real difference between us and other

providers is that we work towards the best end result for the customer,” adds van Leuven. “Our printing clients are not visited by a sales person, but are serviced by someone who knows the product, and knows how to get the maximum value and highest functional use out of it.”


October 2017

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