New machine turns plastics into oil
WHITEHORSE, YUKON (CBC NEWS/CNN) - Recycling advocates in the Canadian territory of the Yukon showed off the technology that makes plastic turn into oil.
The machine is owned by Yukon College and the first of its kind in North America. It cost about $200,000 with both the college and federal government kicking in money.
The machine comes from Japan and its inventor is in Whitehorse to oversee the installation. He says it bothered him that so much plastic was being thrown away. A local researcher first read about it more than a year ago. Then he pitched it to Cold Climate Innovation at Yukon College's research center.
"I just couldn't believe that such a thing could exist, taking waste plastic, turning it into oil, at such an economical rate," said Andy Lera, the project manager.
The machine has been installed at P&M Recycling. Its owner has been stockpiling plastics all summer and is looking for more sources. He says people in the Whitehorse area are throwing out more than 900,000 kilograms of waste plastics every year. The machine can turn 10 kilograms of plastic into 10 liters of synthetic diesel.
"I do believe it can pay for itself, but I also believe it takes care of a larger problem, which is the waste plastics, quite frankly, are getting thrown in the garbage. Now if we can close the loop on that, I think that's every recyclers' goal," said Pat McInroy, of P&M Recycling.
The machine will be here for the next two years. Over that period it will be monitored and tests done on the crude oil. McInroy will use the oil to heat his plant. He says it should work in any furnace that has an inside tank. After the test period the project will be reviewed to see if a bigger machine is warranted.