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Blue Mountain Plastics

Dewiring streamlines plastic recycling operations in Canada

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“The dewiring machine is a necessity with a labor market that continues to become more stressed”, says Blue Mountain Plastic’s Director Mr. Justin Gott.

Pioneer in the North American beverage industry

Ice River Sustainable Solutions is a Canadian, family-owned, and operated company with a unique perspective on the circular economy.  Their passion for the environment drove them to become the first beverage company in North America to operate their own recycling facility, Blue Mountain Plastics, in a closed loop – from curbside collection, to recycled bottle manufacturing, to fresh natural spring water products… and back again. They are a vertically integrated manufacturer, recycler, brand owner and innovator, and they design and produce sustainable products and packaging that can be recycled again and again.

To service their business they purchase approximately 80% of PET collected in Ontario’s Blue Box program and curbside recycling material from other regions to be separated and sorted at their Blue Mountain Plastics facility in Shelburne, Ontario. The use of recycled content is one of the main pillars of the Ice River Sustainable Solutions business model and simply part of their company DNA.

Two dewiring machines to boost the PET recycling process

Blue Mountain Plastics has a state-of-the-art plastics recycling facility producing 100% recycled PET. The company buys PET plastic bales from curbside recycling program in Canada and the Northern US.  After processing and sorting the materials into different colours of plastic and removing any foreign content, they produce PET flake and send it to their Ice River Feversham facility for purification to food grade plastic.  This flake will be used in their 100% recycled Ice River water bottles.

Ms. Martta Kivelä, Cross Wrap’s Sales Manager, tells that Cross Wrap delivered and installed a feeding conveyor, a CW 1800 Dewiring machine, and an output conveyor for Blue Mountain Plastic’s facility in 2021. In addition, another dewiring machine and a feeding conveyor were delivered and commissioned in 2022.  The fully automatic CW 1800 Dewiring machine is a solution specifically designed for the North American market, where the bales are more dense, heavy, and pressurized. This means that the North American bales can have up to 9 bale wires compared to the 4 to 6 wires in Europe. To ensure the best wire removal, the width of the Dewiring machine frame is increased.

Removing bale wires saves time and money

The dewiring machine supports a steady material infeed for the recycling process. Prior to the installation, Blue Mountain Plastics fed PET bales into a shredder directly with a clamp truck. The shredder cut the bale wires in an unpredictable order, which made the material infeed uneven. The material infeed is now more stable when bales are opened before the material enters the shredder. This means that the shredders can be used more efficiently.

Removing bale wires and coiling them is a key element of the dewiring machine. As the bale wires are removed before the raw material enters the shredder, the possibility of the metal wires getting caught up in the rotor or wearing down the shredder blades decrease. Moreover, removing the bale wires from the process before shredding ensures higher quality for the end product, as there are no impurities in the finished PET pellets.

“Any issues that were identified were corrected by Cross Wrap without question – top notch customer support.”

Before the installation of the dewiring machine, shredder maintenance required significantly more time and money. As the metal wires got caught in the shredder blades and had to be removed by hand, shredder maintenance took 8-12 hours per week.

As the dewiring machine removes the metal wires from the process before the shredder, shredder blade maintenance costs at Blue Mountain Plastics have dropped approximately 50%. “There is less wear and tear on the shredder, and operator has more time to complete other productive tasks”, comments Mr. Justin Gott, the Director of Blue Mountain Plastics.

The collected and coiled bale wires are recycled with a local metal recycler. Coiled bale wires take less space in a metal recycling bin, which means more metal can be fit into one bin. This increases the weight of the bin, which in turn improves pricing. The dewiring machine has increased the amount of metal recovered from the operation for external sales.

Smoother operation with automation

Mr. Justin Gott has found the dewiring machine to be a necessity in a labor market that continues to become more stressed. As the dewiring machine is fully automatic, which decreases the need for manual labor and frees employees to perform other, more productive tasks. The dewiring machine also provides more employee safety at Blue Mountain, as the machine operators do not need to remove metal wires from the shredder’s blades.

Mr. Greg Whaley, Blue Mountain Plastic’s Plant Manager, comments positively on the collaboration with Cross Wrap’s engineers. “Any issues that were identified were corrected by Cross Wrap without question – top notch customer support.”

In a nutshell

  • Company: Blue Mountain Plastics
  • Material: PET plastic
  • Output: 55 million pounds per year
  • Capacity: Expanding to 90 million pounds per year 2022
  • Bale size: 1800mm x 1000mm x 1100mm on average
  • CW Machine: 2 x CW 1800 Dewiring machine

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