CDEnviro: material savings

CDEnviro is expanding its presence in Australia, with plans to help reduce costs for infrastructure projects across the nation.

When you consider the transport costs and waste levies associated with disposing of contaminated soils to landfill, it would make more economic sense to recover and reuse these materials.

Investing in mobile systems which can process the materials onsite or static systems which can handle materials closer to site is more cost-effective in the long term when balanced against transport and labour costs from travelling to landfill sites and, depending on the state, associated disposal fees.

That’s according to global environmental remediation company CDEnviro, which estimates that its processing solutions across its four sectors in the UK and Ireland, Australia, North America and Central Europe, save 400 offloading trucks each week from travelling a 100-kilometre round-trip to rural landfills.

Looking at it from an environmental perspective, the stakes are even higher. When disposed of at landfill sites, contaminated soils can comprise potentially harmful chemical substances which can be detrimental to local wildlife and communities if they enter ground and surface water via sewer discharges and leachate movement, according to an Australian Health Protection Principal Committee Report fact sheet.

Fortunately, the technologies for advanced soil washing techniques are becoming increasingly mainstream, says Ryan O’Loan, CDEnviro’s Melbourne-based Business Development Manager.

CDEnviro was established as a subsidiary group to the CDE Group in 2011 to service the environmental wastewater sector. Now it operates across four main sectors: landfill diversion, recycled wastewater, environmental remediation and waste to energy.

More than 25 years after the formation of CDE Group, the organisation now employs in excess of 350 people across eight regions. CDEnviro provides equipment solutions to process a variety of waste streams including street sweepings, contaminated soils and sludge.

In January, Ryan relocated to Australia from the UK to enhance the company’s capabilities in the fast-growing Southern Hemisphere, bringing his industry experience from Europe and North America, and technical background as a mechanical engineer.

Ryan says he is impressed with the progressive Australian market, and has a plan to focus his efforts on expanding the company’s environmental remediation and landfill diversion footprint. He is working with construction contractors and disposal companies to help manage their waste in a financially viable way. Ryan notes that Australia is a land of vast resources, including rock and sand, but there are opportunities to reuse these to a greater extent.

“I think the recovery of a lot of materials generated by environmental remediation is driven by the economics of the process and it’s exactly that which will drive and change people’s attitudes,” Ryan says.

Ryan says that for example, non-destructive digging, the process of removing or moving soil with pressurised water, generally involves ejecting high-pressure water and multiplying it with mud to vacuum it out.

He says this process aims to ensure the condition of utilities, such as cabling and pipelines, are unaffected. Ryan notes the process could involve a two to three-hour round trip at the nearest processing site, before spreading the materials over land to dry naturally and then disposing of them at landfill.

Ryan says this could cost waste businesses up to $100 a tonne to send to landfill, not to mention the associated transport and labour costs, which is why CDEnviro encourages construction companies to invest in its dewatering and recovery solutions for non-destructive digging waste.

Its solutions aim to recover up to 85 per cent of water and sand which would have otherwise have gone to landfill. The recovered water can be reused to fill outgoing trucks with recycled water and the recovered sand and aggregate can be used as clean fill, or act as a valuable revenue stream as recycled construction materials.

CDEnviro can provide mobile systems that can be moved from site to site, or compact static facilities where construction companies can take the materials for processing.

For those looking to invest in their own mobile solutions, products such as the HI:FLO Dewatering Unit treat high water flow rates in applications, with low to medium concentrations of solids, such as those of 0.8 millimetres in size. Mobile screening and classification systems such as the D:MAX help to remove grit, rag and other soils from the waste stream.

In the contaminated soils department, CDEnviro offers soil washing solutions which remove heavy metals and hydrocarbons and other contaminants from contaminated soils, silts and sludge.

This uses a physicochemical treatment process to separate bulk soils into coarse aggregates, sand and silt size fractions before washing them to remove surface contamination.

“A lot of companies are looking at processing contaminated waters or taking contaminants out of water. What we’re trying to focus on is recovering solids and soils and creating  reusable resources, including sand and aggregates,” says Ryan.

He adds that CDEnviro aims to ensure these recovered materials are of the highest possible quality, allowing for various reuse options and giving companies the confidence to invest in these systems.

As cities like Melbourne continue their population boom, it becomes ever more important to reuse our resources and ensure they remain sustainable and cost-effective.

“Virgin materials have to come in from outside the city and that incurs transportation and labour costs, as well as the cost of getting your waste material out of the city. There are very few clean fills or landfills within the city limits of Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, so this material is maybe travelling 100 kilometres from the city to a designated site.”

Not only this, but Ryan adds that the processes and logistics involved in disposing of the materials extends the project timeline. CDEnviro solutions can help shorten the length of the project, reducing contractor costs and other operational savings.

As CDEnviro expands its global footprint, the company has big plans in the Australian market.

Over the coming months and years, it plans to target infrastructure projects across Australia.

“In waste material handling and remediation, our goal is to turn today’s waste into tomorrow’s resources.”