The state-of-the-art depackaging machine located at Exeter Agri-Energy and utilized by Agri-Cycle is the first of its kind in New England. The depackager separates expired or damaged packaged food from its plastic, metal, styrofoam, or cardboard containers. This cutting-edge technology makes it easy to recycle food waste that otherwise, because of its packaging, might end up in a landfill.

How it works is simple: food waste, including its packaging, is loaded into the machine. A series of paddles and screens separate the food waste from its packaging. Water is added to the now-crushed waste to make a “slurry” that is stored until it’s added to the anaerobic digester. The packaging material is captured and transported to a waste-to-energy facility.

loadingdepackager

A loader is used to move the food waste from the tipping floor into the depackaging machine.

depackager

The depackager consists of the intake trough (left) and the separator mechanism (right).