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Exkursion to Rinterzelt/MA48 was fun and very informative

On the 26th of March 2015 we got the opportunity to visit Vienna's biggest waste separation and treatment plant, Rinterzelt (Tent 48), located in the 22nd district, which has an annual throughput of approximately 250,000 tonnes of waste. The plant is known primarily for it's striking tent-shaped structure which has a diameter of 170 meters and a height of 68 meters.

Like all of our excursions, this trip was a great way to see in practice what we learnt in theory in class. After a brief presentation detailing the history of the plant and the main operations and functions it performs today, we were given a guided tour through the facility. We got to see the numerous stations and automated conveyor belts that are used for, first separating plastic bottles from other materials, and then sorting them into different color and material fractions which further undergo visual inspection to maintain high quality standards of separation. This targeted collection and processing of plastic bottles creates the preconditions for reprocessing beverage bottles (bottle-to-bottle recycling) which are delivered to numerous recycling facilities for material recovery.

After the tour of the plastic sorting facility we walked over to the next building which was the treatment plant for incineration residues. Several trucks were driving in and emptying residues that are left behind from incineration (bottom ash, filter ash, slag) which are brought in to Tent 48 from incineration plants across the city for further processing. During the mechanical treatment comprising of several processing steps, iron components and non-ferrous metals (eg.aluminum, copper, brass etc.) are removed from the slag. All in all the short visit to Tent 48 was fun and very informative.

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