Housing development’s sustainable solution

Instant Waste has processed 3,500 tonnes of construction and demolition waste at a housing development project in Western Australia, preventing the local council’s landfill from reaching capacity.

Approximately 35 minutes north of Perth’s CBD lies the urban development of the Catalina Estate.

The coastal community, which remains partly in development, features more than four hectares of cycle paths, walkways and landscaped parks.

Since the development began in 2013, it’s expected more than 2,600 homes will be built over a 10-year period, housing around 8,000 people, according to estimations by the Urban Development Institute of Australia.

The construction and demolition (C&D) waste created could have filled the local council’s landfill five years before the expected 2025 capping and rehabilitation dates.

That’s according to waste transporters Instant Waste, who provided a successful tender for their recycling project in 2014, working with Tamala Park Council to recycle 95 per cent of the development’s waste.

Instant Waste predicted that the large volumes of C&D waste would have affected the council’s capacity to handle the municipal solid waste created by households over 10 years.

Jake Hickey, Instant Waste’s Resource Development Manager, says the double brick construction leads to heavier waste streams of around 30 tonnes per home site, with around 78,000 tonnes over the life of the project.

“The Catalina is actually right next door to Mindarie Landfill, and it’s estimated to be finished by 2025,” Jake says.

“One of the key concerns was if we filled the landfill with loads of construction waste, we eventually wouldn’t have anywhere to put the municipal waste from the homes being built.”

The development is a project between the owner of the land, Tamala Park Regional Council, and developer Satterley Property Group.

The Council proposed to establish a recycling facility on site, but Instant Waste had its own idea.

It proposed builders load the C&D waste into commingled (blended) skip bins.

From there, the waste would be transported offsite to Instant Waste’s site at Bayswater, where the material would be separated and recycled.

“We submitted a tender. We’re only 40 minutes away via skip trucks and we can create a lot of efficiencies through our facility out of Bayswater.

“You would have needed to set up all these systems up brand new on the Mindarie site. Which means there’s no infrastructure set up costs it’s already established, already tried, tested and working, with no commissioning risks.”

Tamala Park Regional Council predicted the increase in landfill levy would lead to greater incidence of illegal dumping, and decided to give builders on the Catalina site an incentive.

They offered to provide builders a $900 rebate to load their C&D waste into Instant Waste’s skip bins, with 75 per cent of builders opting in.

Jake says had the landfill become full, the council would have had to travel an hour and a half to a waste management facility in Red Hill, managed by Perth’s six major councils.

“With Catalina Estate there was a lot of small apartment units, medium density lots and small cottage lots.

“So the frontages were quite narrow and there wasn’t enough space to put multiple source separation bins outside the front of these sites,” he says.

“Multiple source separation runs better when the same builder runs the whole estate and we effectively had to engage a wide range of builders.”

To read more, see page 40 of Issue 11.