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Project Lexi partners hard drive recovery

September 16, 2019

Cambridge, Ontario based electronic waste recycling centre Greentec pairs with Conestoga College for a new robotic sorting cell, which dismantles hard drives to recover valuable components effectively.

Greentec partnered with Conestoga College on Project Lexi, a robotic cell that completely dismantles a hard drive in less than a minute. This innovation allows Greentec to recover all components within the drive.

Greentec explained that a major obstacle with hard drives is the difficulty in separating and recovering useful materials like rare earth magnets if they get mixed with steel or caught in screens and shredder blades during processing. By learning how every make and model of hard drive is constructed, Lexi is able to safely and efficiently disassemble hard drives.

“Greentec typically sees around eight tonnes of hard drives a month. Lexi allows us to recover valuable components from the drive, including rare earth magnets, aluminium casing, circuit boards and stainless steel covers among many other materials from these hard drives,” shared Greentec President and CEO Tony Perrotta. “Once these materials have been recovered, they can be reused in the creation of new hard drives or other products including servo motors and high-efficiency energy appliances.”

“Conestoga College and Greentec have collaborated in the past on numerous research projects including optical sorting optimisation and ink and toner cartridge sorting solutions,” said Dr Hamid Karbasi, Conestoga College’s NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Advanced Recycling Technologies for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment.

The future with Lexi looks bright. Currently in the trial stage, Greentec plans to scale up in late summer.

“We look forward to further exploring other devices that could be dismantled using the robotic cell process,” said Perrotta. “Products like laptops, mobile phones, and tablets contain numerous high-value components that could be targeted through this robotic separation system.”

Greentec is a certified e-waste company that refurbishes, securely destroys and recycles electronics. Beginning operations in 1995, the company now employs 80 team members and uses a proprietary optical sorting system. Proponents of the circular economy, the company believes in using resources for as long as possible, extracting their maximum value and then responsibly recycling electronics to help keep our planet secure and free of waste.

As IT asset disposition (ITAD) experts, Greentec recovers obsolete or unwanted electronic equipment in a safe and responsible way. They specialise in the secure and environmentally-compliant disposal of IT equipment and electronics.

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