Depackaging machine revolutionizes large-scale composting
Throughout the 20th and now 21st centuries, the process of industrial composting continues to change and evolve. While the decomposition of organic material is inherently natural, the right process can make it more efficient and more effective. Additionally, the more food products we can compost, the fewer end up in landfills. Enter the Thor Turbo Separator.
New to the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility in August 2023, the Thor is a top-of-the-line pre-processing, depackaging, and separation system for packaged food waste. Basically, it separates packaged food from its packaging when it is no longer usable, allowing the contents to be composted instead of sent to the landfill. This machine allows us to take in recalled, expired, or misprinted foods from stores or manufacturing facilities, which will be its primary use. The machine’s power lies in its capacity and accuracy. It can separate over 100 tons a day with a 99% or more clean rate.
The Thor is not just a machine—it’s a game-changer, a powerhouse designed to transform the way we process organics. Let’s look at each step of the process:
Commercial customers—ranging from grocery stores to schools to food manufacturers—drop off packaged materials to be composted, still completely in their original packaging.
An SMSC Organics Recycling Facility operator uses a skid loader or front-end loader to move the products into the Thor. This can include all types of packaging from plastic to cardboard.
The product all gets loaded into one bin, which pre-crushes and opens bags to prepare the contents for separation.
In the separator, the red part of the machine in the picture below, the real work begins. The inch-thick North American steel body houses a 125-horsepower motor powering 52 swing hammers to separate the contents. No pneumatics or hydraulics are necessary, and the system can process both wet and dry items.
Once complete, one output conveyor moves the packaging to a dumpster to be delivered to the landfill.
The other output keeps the organic material (food) together for use in the creation of compost at the facility.
The resulting organic material is chock full of nutrients and bacteria, ready to enrich the compost recipe used here at the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility. The Thor is a comprehensive solution for diverse organic materials composting. It’s the culmination of cutting-edge technology, robust engineering, and a commitment to sustainability—all tenants of our operating philosophy.