Unclogging the Inner Workings of a Massive Vehicle Shredder Ventilation System Cleanout ERC Midwest

Unclogging the Inner Workings of a Massive Vehicle Shredder

Client: Regional Metals Recycler

Issue: 3 Story Ventilation System Fouled with Fluff

Solution: A Water, Vacuum Truck and Communication Collaboration

A Regional Ferrous & Non-Ferrous scrap Metals Recycling client needed a solution to a complex waste problem. After years of maintenance-deferred operations, the client’s vehicle shredding unit’s performance was declining.

Basically, it was all clogged up. The clogging was in the shredder’s three-story ventilation system. It was caused by an accumulation of the oily shredding remnants of carpet, seats and dashboards.

The vehicle shredder is a key, high-value component of the client’s production. Taking it down for cleaning during the day shift was not an option. In addition, accessing the interior of the shredder’s ventilation system was a significant challenge.

Because ERC Midwest had been helping this client solve a variety of complex wastewater, machine-cleaning and waste oil problems for years, they contacted us to help guide them to a solution.

“Can you help us?” was the question. “Of course,” was our answer.

Within a few hours, we had a project manager on site to assess the situation and collaborate with the client to develop a plan. The ventilation unit could not be accessed because production was running. As a result, the collaboration included some assumptions about what would be found once the system was shut down and accessed.

Entering the ventilation system required the project team to prepare for the potential exposure to hazardous materials as well as confined-space entry [CSE]. Wearing the proper Personal Protective Equipment [PPE] and CSE safety gear, the project team accessed the site to pressure wash the auto fluff debris, breaking it up and vacuuming it into a Hi Vacuum Sludge truck.

As the Industrial Solutions Team got to work, it was quickly determined that the amount of debris in the system was far beyond what the client had anticipated.


Realizing that it would take longer and cost more to complete the project, our project manager contacted the client to discuss the findings and collaborate on how best to move forward. The client agreed to the change order, and the team completed the cleaning and delivered the result that had been promised to the client.

We were proud to be the guide that helped this client achieve its goals.

Another complex waste problem solved. Happy Client!

Contact us today to find out how we can guide you and solve your complex waste problems.

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