Color Separation Sometimes It Doesn’t Work

Color Separation Sometimes It Doesn’t Work

Problem / Opportunity:

A company called us in search of someone who had a color sorter thinking that a color sort was the answer to a problem they were having. A bulk truck receiving error had resulted in 110,000 pounds of PP being erroneously blown into the PVC silo – resulting in a major cross-contamination problem. With the material now commingled with an estimated 60% of the PP in the PVC, what they did not understand was that color separators do not give high yields when the contamination level is over 10% by volume.

Impact on Customer:

The customer could have exported or sold the material “as is” resulting in a 60-70% loss versus their purchase price for replacement prime PP and PVC.

Solution for Customer:

Butler-MacDonald evaluated a sample. Because we own a multitude of different plastic processing capabilities, we were able to provide a price quote and guarantee of end quality acceptable to the company.


Butler-MacDonald processed the commingled material and returned a 97% combined yield of 99.99% pure PP pellets (60%) and PVC pellets (40%). The customer realized a 70% gain in value versus what they would have realized by selling it “as is” or what they could have obtained via export.

From the simple to the complex – think Butler-MacDonald for plastic recovery needs.

Color Separation Sometimes It Doesn’t Work
Clean PVC Recovered
Color Separation Sometimes It Doesn’t Work
Clean ABS Recovered