Iren Group Inaugurates Italy’s Largest Plastic Waste Sorting Plant

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Circular Plastic , one of the largest plants in Italy for the selection and storage of plastic waste, was inaugurated in Borgaro Torinese, in the province of Turin. Built by Amiat and managed by I.Blu , two Iren Group companies active in the environmental and circular economy supply chain, the plant has an annual treatment capacity of approximately 100,000 tonnes . It was created with the most modern technologies in the sector, which allow maximum flexibility for all plastic recycling elements. 

The plant, for the construction of which 45 million euros were invested, stands on an area of ​​77 thousand square meters of surface area and is capable of treating loose waste derived from the separate collection of plastic and mono/multi-materials, conferred by the collection system or deriving from pre-selection operations carried out in other plants in central-northern Italy, including the Iren Ambiente plant in Pianezza.

Circular Plastic includes 130 conveyor belts equipped with 22 optical readers capable of recognizing and dividing 17 types of polymers and plastics , carrying out an accurate selection of the plastics that can be included in a subsequent recovery cycle of the raw material. The incoming material is first selected by size: the finest waste undergoes subsequent separation, which allows the recovery of further valorisable packaging fractions. Intermediate sized materials are differentiated between rigid and flexible and, in the case of PET bottles, also by colour.

Once the optical and dimensional selection process has been completed, the plastic is stored and delivered to the authorized consortia , while the non-plastic waste or non-usable plastics are processed and prepared for energy recovery.

From a single flow of material, the system therefore allows the different products to be divided, selected by type of polymer and colour, sending approximately 80% of the incoming waste to the recycling plants , and thus promoting significant circularity through reuse. some materials.

Efficiency that can be further improved: within Circular Plastic, an experiment will be carried out linked to the European ReBioCycle project, financed under the Horizon programme, thanks to which robotic systems will be tested for the selection, through artificial intelligence algorithms, of the bioplastics.

With the Circular Plastic plant, the Iren Group’s strong commitment to waste management and treatment continues through a cutting-edge project at an international level,” declares Luca Dal Fabbro, President of the Iren Group . “Innovation and efficiency in the circular use of matter represents the winning strategy of Iren’s industrial model and enhances a strategic territory such as Piedmont, through plants that guarantee autonomy in waste management, energy production and creation of added value ”.

The plant inaugurated today is a point of reference at national and European level for the waste management sector ”, comments Paola Bragantini, President of Amiat “ The highly innovative element of the hub testifies to the foresight of a company like Amiat, linked to own territory but at the same time able to look far ahead and innovate. A mission which we support with daily awareness-raising work: for this reason this plant will also be open to citizens thanks to dedicated visit itineraries, to raise awareness among users of the importance of recovery to transform waste into resources”. 

The construction works of the plant made it possible to complete a complete reconversion of the site, which previously housed an Amiat composting plant: the construction site, which lasted approximately three years, saw alternating maximum presence on site up to 150 workers from various contracting companies.

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In terms of raising awareness of environmentally friendly issues, the revamping of the plant was also an opportunity to collaborate with two artists, the photographer Silvia Fubini and the sculptor and photographer Ornella Rovera, who each created a work inspired by the plant and its themes of sustainability and the fight against climate change: the two installations – some large-sized photographs and a sculpture – will be positioned within the site.