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  • BIR Copenhagen 2024 - Shredder Committee: BIR targeting record participation as it launches latest Shredder Safety Survey

BIR Copenhagen 2024 - Shredder Committee: BIR targeting record participation as it launches latest Shredder Safety Survey

  • 04 June 2024

Shredder numbers worldwide climbed around 4% in the 12 months leading up to late May’s BIR Convention in Copenhagen.

The BIR World Shredder List total had jumped from 1181 to 1229 over this period, the meeting of the global recycling organization’s Shredder Committee was informed by its Chairman Alton Scott Newell III of US-based Newell Recycling Equipment. The updated figure comprised 352 in the USA, 267 in the EU/EFTA region and 610 throughout the rest of the world, including a combined 460 across China and Japan.

The session at Copenhagen’s Bella Center on May 28 also brought the official launch of BIR’s latest Shredder Safety Survey, which has been developed over recent years to provide front-line feedback from shredder operators on the leading causes of accidents and injuries, with data collated confidentially in a report designed to highlight accident hotspots and potential measures to improve on-site safety.

BIR Trade & Environment Policy Officer Daniel Pietikäinen urged companies operating shredders of more than 1000 HP to participate in the survey and create the most extensive database achieved to date, thereby building on the survey’s standing as “a valuable asset and source of information” for the industry. The intention is to provide initial feedback from the survey at BIR’s Singapore Convention in October 2024 ahead of publication of the final report in 2025.

These surveys are available in five languages (English, Chinese, French, German and Spanish) although there are plans within BIR to expand this number, according to Mr Pietikäinen.

Three guest presentations in Copenhagen began with an update from Donald Ward, Director at Ward Recycling in the UK, on the ongoing complexities surrounding metal shredder residues (MSR) at his domestic level. Designation of MSR as hazardous was raising a number of concerns among shredder operators, including over the availability of appropriate landfill capacity.

Latest developments aimed at capturing maximum intrinsic value when sorting aluminium from Zorba were addressed at the meeting by Robert Broughton, President and CEO of separation technology specialist Steinert US. Higher throughputs were now available that fit with the expectations of shredder facilities, he said.

He was followed at the lectern by Rick Comtois, founder and President of US sensor-based sorting expert Austin AI, Inc., who highlighted the versatility of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). Sorting via LIBS offered users the lowest cost per pure tons produced, he claimed.