Recycling is an important topic so this Earth day I decided to put on my planateer hat and let you know how easy it is to recycle conveyor systems! Here is the sustainability statement from FlexLink which kind of covers this if you want something more technical, but let’s dive in!
So let’s talk tabletop conveyors. They are usually aluminum, and occasionally stainless. Aluminum is one of the most sustainable materials available. It’s lightweight, strong, and easy to work with. That makes it a popular choice for a variety of applications, including conveyor systems! Aluminum is infinitely recyclable. Even when it is anodized so it is a really good choice if you are trying to be sustainable. The same goes for stainless.
Actually, the metal in almost all conveyors could be feasibly recycled. It just makes sense to scrap a piece of extrusion to get some value out of it and the end of life rather than tossing it into a dumpster. But what about the chain? Can you recycle conveyor chain? Well, yes. A lot of tabletop style conveyors use a POM material for their chain, and that is recyclable too. But make sure to remove the steel pins! You can also recycle the UHMW-PE, HDPE, PA-PE, and PVDF slide rail that has been supporting that POM chain when it needs to be replaced. All of those materials are recyclable.
I suppose the tl;dr here is that our conveyor systems are environmentally friendly when you take the time to separate your materials.
Recycling helps to conserve natural resources and reduces the amount of waste going to landfills. Heck, according to Stanford, recycling just one ton of aluminum saves:
- 14,000 kilowatt hours (Kwh) of energy
- 40 barrels of oil
- 152.32 million BTU’s of energy
- 10 cubic yards of landfill space
But by far the best thing about tabletop conveyors (like FlexLink or FlexMove) is how reconfigurable they are. You know how that reduce, reuse, recycle triangle goes? Yeah, they are far more REUSABLE than some other conveyor styles because of their modular nature. Cut them and slap in a few bends or some connecting strips and viola, new layout no welding required.
So, yeah, repurposing and recycling components used in tabletop conveyor systems is not only possible but beneficial for the environment and the economy! Happy Earth Day!
Remember, the power is yours!