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We have developed the first drum-handling machine in Europe (known as DHP1) specifically designed for the removal of liquids, sludges and solids from a variety of containers.

The drum plant utilises shredder technology to ensure complete destruction of the container and removal of its contents.

The shredded container components are washed before being removed from the resultant waste mixture. The metal shred can then go for metal recovery and the organic waste mixture that is left is forwarded for incorporation into Cemfuel or for use on one of Tradebe facilities.


This first plant proved an immense success when it was brought into action in our  Morecambe site, so a second drum plant, specifically designated for organic solid wastes, was subsequently designed and installed.

Tradebe  invested £1 million in the second machine, known as DHP2, which can process around 20 standard 205 litre tight-head or clip-top drums of waste each hour.

It is designed to process the more difficult types of waste organic sludges and solids, and also viscous or polymerised wastes. These come mainly from the chemical, pharmaceutical and printing industries. The machine is also able to handle adhesives and resins that have previously been difficult to recycle.

Drums containing waste are placed on a feed conveyor, which automatically sends them one at a time into the docking port of the machine. The automatic waste removal process begins with a slide valve above the drum opening, and exposing the drum to the nitrogen filled interior of the machine, ensuring that all oxygen is excluded.


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The drum is rotated until it is upside down, then a high-powered hydraulic driven auger screws out the contents, into a dispersion tank. Within this tank, a high shear mixer pulverises the sludge and solids and turns the waste into a liquid, which is pumped to storage tanks. The slide valve then closes to seal the machine and it returns to the vertical position, sending the empty drum onto an exit conveyor before the whole process begins again. The drums themselves are subsequently cleaned and shredded using Tradebe Solvent Recycling’s original drum handling machine, and like everything else that goes through the process, are recycled. Everything in the system is geared towards moving material up the waste hierarchy, from disposal to recycling, and this machine is a big step in that direction.