School Company Visits Alba Sorting Plant For Recyclable Materials

Gruppenfoto bei Alba


On 8.6.2023, our newly founded school company "Second Life Plastic Berlin" visited the Alba sorting plant for recyclables in Berlin Mahlsdorf. We were welcomed by a friendly employee who first explained the machines, the history and the rules of the plant. After a short introductory video, we set off in yellow high-visibility waistcoats for a guided tour of the plant.
At the sorting facility, a noisy, dark and dusty environment awaited us, accompanied by a strong smell of waste. First she led us to the receiving point, where 100 lorries arrive daily with yellow sacks from Berlin and Brandenburg. Via a conveyor belt, the waste then reaches the next part of the plant, the screening plant, which filters out small objects. Then, with the help of centrifuges and air blowers, foil and other light materials are filtered out. In addition, ferromagnetic objects are separated with the help of magnets and aluminium with the help of eddy current.
The control centre is located in the centre of the plant. Here, the entire plant is checked for ignited batteries with thermal cameras, which sound an alarm as soon as temperatures reach 100 degrees and then have to be removed manually. In the "high-tech" area, infrared sensors are used to separate different types of plastic. To ensure that this process is as precise as possible, several sensors are installed in series for each type of plastic. Before the separated plastic types are finally pressed into bales and put into intermediate storage, the conveyor belts run into an area that is manually checked by employees. Unfortunately, the yellow sacks also contain many faulty products that cannot be recycled, so that only about 60% can be sorted by type.
The excursion to the Alba recycling yard not only offered insights into the world of recycling, but also highlighted the importance of sustainable action. It became clear that recycling not only helps to protect the environment, but also plays an important role in reducing waste and conserving resources. The school company was very enthusiastic about the excursion and would like to thank Alba for the informative tour and the guidance by Mr. Timm from the Klax Makerspace. The visit to the sorting plant raised awareness of recycling and showed that every individual can make a contribution to environmental protection. It was an informative and inspiring day that will certainly be remembered for a long time.