Futuriste

A Hall dedicated to research into plastic sorting and recycling

In Mantes-la-Ville, a few minutes from Limay Research Center, Veolia has owned a Research hall since 2016, equipped with state-of-the-art technologies for the sorting, conversion and recovery of plastic materials into secondary raw materials.

This modular and scalable research area has been designed to meet the Group’s strategic concerns in terms of the circular economy. Following the remotecontrolled sorting system I-Sort3RTM that removes the need for operators to come into contact with plastic packaging waste, Veolia’s Research & Innovation department is now developing smart automated sorting solutions. By testing sensors and cameras that can identify the different types of plastic and developing object recognition algorithms, the Group is looking to further improve sorting quality and automation.

“The aim of the Hall is to design and study on an R&D scale tools for sorting and converting a supply of waste. These tools incorporate robotics, artificial intelligence, digitization, sensor fusion, etc.,” explains its director Patrick Legeas. “The idea is to design a logical sequence of actions, from the time the resource arrives at the site until it is transformed into secondary raw materials.”

In order to characterize these recycled raw materials as well as come up with new uses or designs, a laboratory and a reprocessing workshop — featuring a granulator, extruder and injection molding machine — have been set up in the Hall with equipment that complies with the industrial standards of Veolia’s manufacturing clients.

“We dive to the heart of the profession of plastic manufacturer to understand their needs and provide them with a material that meets the required functions,” explains Patrick Legeas. “In the laboratory, we identify the potential use that could be made of the new secondary raw material on an industrial scale.”