|Scrap metal is handled in bulk by some truly large and exciting machines. Steven Vale starts by taking us to a site at Liverpool Docks where each week 200-250 cars are processed for 85 per cent recycling. They form just part of the massive amount that goes through the shredder, sometimes as much as 150 tonnes an hour. After shredding and stockpiling, the ferrous metal is loaded onto ships by four very special Liebherr 984s.
The source of metal scrap ranges from drinks cans to structures weighing several thousand tonnes. On Norway's coast sections of decommissioned oil rigs are brought in by Thialf, the world's largest crane vessel. Once on the dock the sections are moved by SPMTs to areas where they can be cut up for recycling. This is where Rusch's new demolition machine is being pioneered, based on a Cat 5130B mining excavator and carrying a 25-tonne tool.
Balance cranes are designed to use the force of gravity as a substitute for some of the mechanical power in materials handling. Steven Vale takes us to see Europe's newest and largest examples at work in Belgium: E-Cranes including one from the 2000 series. Another example of balance crane is the Sennebogen 880D at work on the UK's south coast unloading steel bars.
Steel mills have a special attraction because there you see scrap being handled – in the case of Thamesteel at Sheerness by Swedish-made MultiDockers – and loaded into the mill before reappearing as steel billets ready for use once again.
The processes, machines and narration in this programme give a fascinating insight into the current state of metals recycling in Europe. 88 mins.