The mobile Trashpresso makes tiles out of trash
The Trashpresso is the world’s first mobile plastic and fabric waste recycling plant. Developed by Miniwiz in Taiwan, the Trashpresso aims to bring industrial grade recycling to communities around the world on a mobile, automated, and self-powered platform, creating architectural tiles from recycled plastic on site.
The machine is housed in a 12-metre (40 feet) container platform that is movable anywhere by trailer truck, and is powered by solar panels. The machine requires 40.5 KW, the same amount of energy as lighting a 40W light bulb for one hour, to operate all of its machines and filters. The energy is provided by a solar powered battery that can store up to 80 KW per charge. To mitigate this risk of relying solely on solar energy the Trashpresso is also equipped with a back-up biodiesel generator.
The recycling process is divided into 5 steps. First, the plastic waste is shredded, to improve the next step, washing. The wet flakes of plastic are then air-dried. In the fourth step, the material is dehumidified to reduce the moisture to a minimal level, ensuring a high-quality end product. The dried flakes are then collected and placed manually into moulds. In an oven, the plastic melts, forming tile shapes. The Trashpresso can upcycle up to 50 kilograms of waste per hour.
The tiles can be used in various applications, such as interior or exterior decoration finishes, or be transported to be recycled into something else.
The machine can recycle any thermoplastic that has a melting point lower than its burning point, such as PET and PP. Composites, paper, and thin films like bottle labels cannot be recycled by Trashpresso.
To avoid water pollution, the water used to wash the shredded plastic is purified and then re-used. Because the waste might be treated with toxins, an air filter prevents the release of toxic vapours, which could be generated during the melting process.