April 30, 2013

A unique chance to understand industrial processes of environmental technology…

After numerous lectures on waste treatment and flow sheets of waste treatment plants, the ETIA 5 students got the unique chance to visit the so-called Rinterzelt, which is a pre-processing installation for industrial and bulky wastes located in the 22nd district of Vienna. Constructed in the years 1985 and 1986, the plant today processes more than 400.000 tons of waste per year and has become a hub in Vienna’s waste management.  The 48-Tent, as the plant is also known, is Austria’s biggest waste treatment plant for the preparation, sorting as well as the conditioning of different types of waste.

After an informative introduction and explanation of the plant by one of the employees our group was given a tour of the entire plant. It was fascinating to see in real-life what we had previously heard in lectures and by the tour-guide of the plant. We were guided through all the stations, with a patient guide who answered all of our many questions. But also the workers at the plant were very accommodating and appreciated our curiosity.

We then continued to the Pet-to-Pet recycling plant in the small town of Müllendorf, Burgenland, which first went into operation in August 2007. Austria’s leading soft drink producers united and formed the Pet-to-Pet Ltd. in order to recycle the packaging of their products. This does not only reduce production costs but it is also a contribution towards more efficiency and sustainability.  Upon entering the plant, we first watched a video explaining the plant and how it works. This was very illustrative and helped understand the complex process. Afterwards we visited the modern high-tech plant and we could follow live how drink bottles were first processed into so-called Pet flakes before being further processed into Pet-bottles again.

As all our excursions, visiting the waste treatment plant and the Pet-to-Pet plant also provided a better understanding and insight into the industrial processes of environmental technology and are a welcome change to the otherwise hectic life of an ETIA student.   

Text by Sarah Steger (ETIA05)

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