21 September, 2022

Conveyor Systems are used within a wide variety of industries. From Quarrying and Heavy industries to Food production and Hospitality, all these industries share common goals, one of which is to move lots of product/materials as efficiently as possible, ensuring maximum uptime and profitability.

SVS are experienced in working with conveyor belts throughout all these industries. We understand the different requirements for each application, the different challenges each of our clients face within their chosen industry and share the same goals.

But did you know that SVS also support the recycling and waste management industry? 🤔 Learn more about the industry from this short video below – definitely worth a worth a watch!

Recycling and Waste Management Industry

By way of introducing this industry we would like to share with you about one of our Recycling and Waste Management industry clients, Enva. Enva is a leading provider of recycling and resource recovery solutions, with locations across the United Kingdom and Ireland. They operate across 4 core waste streams: Hazardous Materials, Non-Hazardous Materials, Hydrocarbons and General Waste Recycling.

The recycling and waste management industry heavily relies on the use of conveyor systems to reduce costs and increase overall efficiency. If one of these systems are not implemented correctly or faces unscheduled downtime, this can massively affect profitability. The requirements for conveyor belts in the recycling industry differ significantly from the requirements of other industries such as the automotive, food or mining industries. Even within the recycling industry, the requirements are not identical, because waste glass fragments behave differently from, for example, waste paper, plastics or scrap metal.

Enva’s recycling operation recovers a broad range of hazardous and non-hazardous waste materials for re-use in manufacturing and energy conversion. At SVS we appreciate our customers industry is an ever-growing sector and the number of materials being recycled continues to grow. Even more reason our conveyor belt technology and expertise keep pace with the demand and market changes in this key industry.

Enva Recycling Centre (Edinburgh)

It’s great to be able to share our team in action at a recent conveyor belt replacement job at Enva’s recycling centre in Edinburgh.

Conveyor Belt Problems and Maintenance

The requirements for conveyor belts in the recycling industry differ significantly from the requirements of other industries such as the automotive, food or mining industries. As we previously mentioned, even within the recycling industry, the requirements are not identical, because waste glass fragments behave differently from, for example, waste paper, plastics or scrap metal.

Common conveyor belt problems include belt mistracking, belt slippage, blockages, material carryback, material spillage and belt tears. Ultimately problems result in unnecessary and costly unscheduled downtime to the recycling and waste management conveyor systems.


When you’re running a conveyor system in a recycling environment, belt mistracking can be a constant concern. The slightest misalignment can cause major problems, including equipment damage, excessive wear and tear to the belt, and material spillage.

Mistracking might simply lead to uneven belt wear, which is the cause of a whole host of other problems in its own right.

If the belt slips entirely off the track, the whole system could begin malfunctioning and shut down. It’s best to keep an eye out for small signs of mistracking, even if they don’t seem to be causing much damage. By catching this problem early on, you can prevent it from worsening and creating a larger issue.


Conveyor belts rely on a precise balance of tension to work correctly. If there is too much tension or too little, things begin to go awry, and the belt can slip.

Belt slippages are a key cause of damage to a conveyor belt. When the belt slips, it can result in tears which must be repaired as soon as possible. While this means stopping for unscheduled maintenance, not stopping to repair these issues can make the tears worse and eventually lead to inoperable equipment that must be stopped for a longer period of time. Drum lagging is designed to prevent belt slippages by increasing friction with the belt and preventing material build-up.

Any unscheduled downtime can negatively affect your return on investment (ROI) so preventing this is paramount to maximising profits.


The primary purpose of any conveyor belt system is to transport items efficiently from one location to another, often through a complex conveyor system. It only makes sense, then, that when this efficient travel is disrupted, the entire system stops working.

It’s all too easy for recycling / waste products to get caught. When this happens, the next item behind the first one gets caught, and the pileup simply builds from there. It can lead to the entire system becoming clogged and jammed.

It’s always a good idea to continually inspect your conveyor belt for sharp edges, surfaces, corners or other spaces that might catch/snag items as they go past. Service Level Agreements can be a great mechanism for supporting proactive inspection of your conveyor belt and prevent more serious issues down the line.


When conveyor systems are utilised to transport high volumes of items, material can often bind to the belt and cause substantial problems. When carryback is not addressed, the consequences include an accumulation of material under the belt and buildup on return rollers, snub pulleys and bend pulleys. The buildup of carryback not only increases housekeeping costs, but makes proper belt tracking impossible.

Carryback is a leading cause of unscheduled downtime in operations using conveyor systems. To reduce material carryback, you should install a cleaning system that will scrape your belt to ensure no material gets left behind.


It’s fairly common for there to be some issues with material spillage at some point along a conveyor system. This term refers to any material that accidentally slides or spills off the belt.

Material spillage is defined as material that escapes the conveyor. Spillage is different from dust and carryback and therefore, should be prevented differently. Way too many facilities continue to just deal with spillage and are accustomed to the “it is just the way it is” attitude. Material spillage is totally preventable through inexpensive mechanical solutions.

Spillage presents many threats to profitability such as; potential for lost material, labor cost for cleanup, risk of injury, housekeeping issues, and increased threat of unexpected downtime.

If you find that material spillage is a common factor on your conveyor belt, installing impact bars, and skirting are a few things up for consideration. These solutions will help reduce time spent cleaning up, and they’ll decrease the possibility of breakdowns caused by blockages on the belt.


A torn belt or ripped seam can cause problems with the function of your belt and hurt productivity. It’s important to contact a professional to perform these repairs to reduce downtime. Tears and rips can be hard to prevent with the nature of recycling operations, so this problem requires a good repair process.

Sometimes materials or strange objects can become lodged in a chute or some other mechanism, they can quickly tear through or groove the top cover or even the carcass of a belt. This can cause as much damage in moments as abrasion might in years, potentially rendering a conveyor unusable.

Fortunately, there are specific repair methods, and Fasteners and Vulcanising are well recognised solutions that come into play.

Conveyor Belt Professionals You Can Trust

Our technicians at SVS are very experienced and can help troubleshoot whatever problem you may be facing.

If some of your parts are wearing out and need replacing, we can work with you to help you determine the correct part that will get your system back up and running again.

By making early servicing inspections and repairs we can often avoid our customers costly breakdowns and deliver continued efficiencies and extend the life of their conveyor systems and belts.

Get in touch below, we are always happy to help!

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