A solution to reduce the volume of agricultural waste from pesticide containers is being developed by Cambs-based Techneat.
A chipping machine, branded “ChipPE”, can achieve up to a sevenfold reduction in the volume of plastic chemical containers, a considerable cost saving for the grower, says designer, Tom Neat.
“The primary cost of recycling is transportation of waste, so reducing it down is a benefit to the grower, who will pay less for disposal.”
Chipping also allows the waste collector to see how efficiently cans have been triple rinsed and give confidence that the waste has been managed correctly.
Waste collectors specify that containers carry no chemical residue.
Whereas with whole containers residues can remain in the bottle, no visible residue in the bag guarantees no chemical left in the containers from when they were chipped, he says.
The ChipPE machine is powered by a three-phase electric motor, which drives a pair of knife-carrying rotors.
These roughly chop the plastic into credit card-sized pieces.
The containers – up to 25 litres in size – are placed in a hopper and fed down to the rotors.
It takes about 20 minutes to chip enough containers to fill a 1t bulk bag.
The design is such that it can be scaled up or down according to the requirement of the grower.
It can also be made portable to allow for transport between sites.
Mr Neat anticipates customers for the chipper being large growers with high volumes of pesticide container waste, contractors or growers who farm in co-ops.
Price for a standard £3.8kW unit is £4000.