Glass recycling is the process of converting waste glass into clean shards, which can be used as a new raw material. This process ensures that glass can be used over and over again, which means that fewer raw materials have to be extracted. The use of shards to make new glass is also much more energy efficient than the use of raw materials. Less mining resources, less energy consumption, less CO2 emissions, a triple benefit for the environment!
To succeed in this, the quality of our shards must be very high. Unfortunately, there is a lot of contamination in the waste glass we receive, so there is an ingenious process in which our employees remove this contamination in several steps.
From our recycling process, we can offer various high-quality raw materials to both glass and insulation factories.
We are talking about the different colors, such as white, green, brown and variegated glass, but there are also various options according to composition.
We strive to always serve our customers. Thanks to our flat structure and partnerships with our suppliers, we can respond quickly to market demands!
GRL opts for sustainable process technology. The processing process is a completely dry process in which various waste materials are extracted from the glass flow, which in turn are eligible for recycling.
The first process step is manual processing. The incoming glass flow is divided according to grain size over different conveyor belts. A first manual sorting takes place and the glass flow is cleaned of large impurities. PET bottles, plastic bags, newspapers, magazines, ceramics, stone, porcelain and other foreign household waste are carefully removed. The second process step consists of a breaking process where the glass is brought to the desired grain size by means of a breaker. Before going to the third process step, the glass is homogenized.
The next step consists of a pre-treatment of the glass shards, the so-called “dry washing”. The fragments are cleaned with hot air on a fluid bed dryer, after which they are polished by a friction technique. Organic contamination, especially food scraps, is removed from the glass fragments to the maximum.
The fourth process step consists of the removal of all metals, both ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
The last step is the most complex processing step: optical processing. The shards are again divided into different streams according to grain size. A first battery of optical separators removes ceramic, stone, porcelain and the heat-resistant vitro ceramic glass from the glass flow. This is done by means of CCD cameras and high-tech sensors. The non-transparent contamination is recognized on the basis of white light, laser light and infrared light. After image processing, a processor precisely controls a number of compressed air valves that blow the unwanted particles out of the shard flow. The shards are then subjected to an optical-mechanical color separation and the otherwise colored shards are removed from the glass flow. Some of our lines are already equipped with fully automatic optical separators that can recognize and separate glass shards based on the amount of heavy metals.
Between the different process steps, light parts such as paper and plastic are separated from the glass by means of air techniques.
The entire process is automatically controlled by a team of experienced professionals who supervise and, if necessary, adjust the processing process based on the results of the online quality control.
This very modern and efficient machine park offers a maximum recycling percentage and a high quality of the end products.
Quality is the keyword in our services. This obviously not only relates to our end products, but also to our processing and service.
Quality starts with the glass collection through good sorting at the source. Raising awareness and training our suppliers, solid containers, an extensive maintenance service, special flat glass containers and a tailor-made collection are therefore of great importance to us. Correct and careful storage is one of the most important conditions for an optimal start of the processing process. Well-trained people and the most modern machines ensure that an end product is made of very high quality. GRL is highly regarded by glass producers all over the world for the quality of its products.
GRL continuously strives for process improvement. The annual renewal of its quality certificates is therefore very important: Currently, GRL has ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification as well as VCA *. The certificates are available at www.grl.be
GRL opts for sustainable entrepreneurship, by always striving for economically and ecologically balanced processing processes. We continuously invest in both technology and in our team of passionate and highly motivated people, offering recognition and security. We can rely on a reliable and experienced core of employees who have been active within our organization for many years. In the past 2 years, GRL has invested more than 3 million euros in the renewal of its machinery.
“My bottle is empty.”
What do you do with your empty glass packaging? As a consumer, you decide on the further life of the used glass packaging.
“My window is broken.”
What do you do with your broken windows? As a consumer, you can also decide on the survival of your broken flat glass.