The current chapter describes the methods and equipment utilized to segregate the various components of commingled solid waste streams into single constituents for materials recycling and energy recovery from the combustible fraction. This chapter is separated into three distinct parts. The first part describes the problems from the depletion of primary material resources, the role and current level of waste materials recycling, and the prevailing concepts and processes in regard to waste processing. The scientific basis of solid waste separation techniques, as well as the similarities and differences between mineral processing and solid waste separation methods are also outlined. The second part is devoted to the detailed presentation of methods, equipment, and unit operations used in solid waste separation, such as: size reduction, classification, sorting (manual, sensor‐based, robot), separation methods (gravity, magnetic, eddy current, electrostatic, ballistic, flotation), cubing‐pelletizing, and baling. Finally, the third part is referred to the environmental, economic and social benefits of recycling as well as to its prospects.
21.1.1 Resource Conservation through Reuse and Recycling
Despite the fluctuations and uneven distribution of the wealth around the ...