Headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, RePower South LLC (RPS) provides economically sustainable recycling, waste recovery and clean energy solutions to communities, industries and consumers. The company has partnered with Accordant Energy LLC, Loesche Energy Systems and Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) to disrupt the traditional waste management model by processing mixed waste to recover recyclables and to produce a ReEngineered Feedstock (ReEF) from nonrecyclable paper and plastic.
Both the company’s operations in Montgomery, Alabama, and Moncks Corner, South Carolina, feature recycling systems provided by BHS, Eugene, Oregon. Its South Carolina plant features a highly automated system that is capable of processing more than 50 tons per hour, or 220,000 tons annually, of mixed waste to recover recyclables and produce ReEF. This flexibility to produce mixed paper, various grades of plastics and/or fuel allows RPS to adjust with market conditions.
The plant features seven NRT optical sorters that are used to recover recyclables, including PET and HDPE plastics, and to remove plastic and metal contamination from the ReEF. Nine Max-AI® AQC (autonomous quality control) AI-powered robotic sorters perform quality control. The two technologies combined enable the system to run with minimal manual sorters.
“With NRT optical and Max-AI® technology, we have an almost unlimited degree of flexibility to create a wide variety of high-quality products to serve multiple markets,” says RPS President Scott Montgomery. “The technology maximizes the recovery and quality of those products, and with Max-AI® technology there’s no real need to expose people to this work during the QC process.”
The company’s South Carolina plant operates two 8-hour shifts daily. Montgomery says the BHS technology has enabled RPS to replace 18 people per shift on the QC line.
He adds that RPS is achieving a 50 percent recovery rate at both its plants: Recyclables account for 20 percent, while fuel totals 30 percent.
Regarding the systems’ overall performance, Montgomery says, “It has been excellent—this is a difficult material stream, and the combination of screen technology with NRT and Max-AI® throughout the system allows us to maintain throughput and quality with very high levels of uptime.”
Working with the BHS team also was a positive experience. “They have dedicated people,” he says. “I would say that their project management team is really great to work with,” Montgomery says, citing particularly good communication and execution.
The results also get top marks from RPS’ customers. “As happy as we are with the performance, our economics are really driven by the customers that buy our products. On that front, we’re pleased to say that all of our customers are satisfied with and excited by the quality that we deliver.”