The bags from Valorlux are picked up every other week at your doorstep and transported to the sorting centre where the content is separated into its different fractions which are then brought to recycling.
The collection of plastic bottles and flacons, metal waste and beverage cartons (PMC) as plastic films and bags is organised by and also cost-covered by Valorlux which has signed a contract with each community.
In 2017 7,994 tons of packaging waste was recycled in facilities in Luxembourg or abroad.
There are three criteria based on which Valorlux decides with which factories to cooperate:
|PET||362.03||Wellman France Recycling (Verdun, F)|
|82.68||Sorepla (Neufchâteau, F)|
|16.5||SRH Kunstoffe (Plauen, D)|
|699.50||Wellman France Recycling (Verdun, F)|
|1,669.42||Plastipak Packaging France (Ste Marie la Blanche, F)|
|678.96||Umweltdienste Kedenburg (Beckum, D)|
|HDPE||597||RE Plano GmbH (Lünen, D)|
|1.36||EU-REC Gmbh (Trier, D)|
|Steel||1,178.12||Derichebourg Environnement ESKA (Woippy, F)|
|Aluminium||292.02||Van Dalen Belgium n.v|
|Beverage Cartons||1,084||PNM (Kreuzau, D)|
|187.14||EU-Rec GmbH (Trier, D)|
|Total Amount Recycled||6,776.70|
|Residuals after Sorting Valorised||1,110.16||Lamesch Exploitation (Bettembourg, L)|
|107.24||SIDOR-MVA (Leudelange, L)|
|Total valorisation résidus de tri||1,217.40|
|Total Amount Valorised||7,994.10|
Valorlux collects all PET and HDPE bottles and flacons in the blue bags. These are sorted at the sorting centre and afterwards recycled:
In order to receive recycled plastic of good quality, correct sorting is crucial. The collected PET bottles in the blue bag from Valorlux are sorted with a laser. After this, the bottles are pressed into bales according to their colours in transparent/colourless, green / dark blue and coloured/red. HDPE is sorted manually.
The bottles are cleaned in several wash cycles to remove impurities, such as paper, carton, adhesives and others. The remainder is chopped into “flakes” of 8-12mm. Due to the process of “flotation” PET and HDPE are separated: HDPE floats while PET sinks to the bottom. Thereafter, the “flakes” are compressed and minced. After heating the PET and HDPE, it can be pressed into any form.
Recycled aluminium can be found in several items: electric cables, food and medication packages, watches …
At the sorting centre the steel is separated from other packaging with the help of a magnet. Aluminium is manually separated. In a next step, the steel and aluminium are grinded and washed. The discarded metal is then melted in a furnace.
Steel can be melted in a furnace in order to be processed in a blend (40% recycled steel) or in an electric furnace where 100% recycled steel can be melted. Aluminium is processed further in specialized factories for casting.
After that, the steel and aluminium are cast in moulds for new products.
Beverage cartons consist of three different materials: paper, aluminium and plastic. The paper is used for many different products: kitchen roll, kraft paper, cardboard …
A blend of aluminium and plastic is used for the production of clinker bricks (made of artificial cement).
Beverage cartons are automatically sorted in the sorting centres of Valorlux. Afterwards the cartons are brought to the recycler, where they are shredded. The shredded material is filled into a pulper with water where the whole mass is kneaded. As the cellulose fibres dissolve the carton is separated from the plastic and aluminium through the process of flotation.
Hereafter the paper is normally recycled while the blend of plastic and aluminium is separated in another process and each individually recycled.
Bottles and jars of glass are made of used glass.
The collected glass is grinded right away without washing and impurities are removed, e.g. labels and lids, through friction. This so-called “cullet” is directly processed in a furnace. Waste glass has the advantage that no additives are needed for recycling and the energy usage is way lower due to the melting point at already 1,000°C instead of 1,500°C for virgin glass. Therefore, the processing of “cullet” is very energy-efficient. Glass is also often utilised as plasticizer to facilitate the melting of virgin glass: using 80% of the weight in production from “cullet” saves 25% in energy compared to the production without waste glass.
Newspapers, notebooks, sheets, cartons… all these items can be made from waste paper.
In a compounding plant processed paper is combined with water, chemical additives and soap. This process leads to ink and fibre being separated and the paper pulp being bleached. In a second step, a purifier then gets rid of all the unwanted residual materials, such as staples. Afterwards, tiny air bubbles are blended into the pulp and through a physico-chemical process the ink gathers in the soap and floats on the surface in the air bubbles. The recycled pulp is then added into the traditional paper process and can be used either individually or in combination with virgin material to produce new paper.