Pilgrim’s progress from transport to recycling

With the help of equipment specialists Applied Machinery, Geoff Pilgrim Transport has expanded its business from transport to recycling.

Three years ago, Geoff Pilgrim, now 67, was on the hunt for a new challenge.

With more than a decade operating the family-owned waste transportation business Geoff Pilgrim Transport, Geoff hoped to establish what he described at the time as a “relaxing recycling business”, allowing him to ease into a comfortable retirement. The new business, based in the west coast of South Australia in Port Lincoln, shreds and granulates materials from the aquaculture industries of SA and Victoria.

Based in Echuca Moama, Geoff Pilgrim Transport hauls waste from Echuca to Melbourne and general freight across northern Victoria. The business began in 1988, starting with one truck and over time boosting its fleet to 15 trucks, four utes and a van, with Geoff’s son John taking over as a director. After launching the new arm of the business in April last year, Geoff says the first year exceeded expectations, with 150 tonnes of materials already processed.

“We thought we’d be cruising along the coast to Victoria and have a few days off, but the business turned out to be bigger than Ben-Hur,” Geoff says.

Geoff determined that the excess plastic from the aquaculture industry, which includes pipes, bollards, abalone trays and oyster nets, could be shredded and granulated and sold on.

The father and son operation involves materials being transported from Victoria and NSW and shredded at Port Lincoln. From there, the materials are transported across Australia before being granulated into particle-sized materials at the company’s Moama headquarters.

To accelerate its performance, the company turned to equipment specialists Applied Machinery, which supplied it with a Genox V1000 shredder and GC800 granulator. As one of the nation’s largest and most respected dealers of new and used machinery for the sheet metal, engineering, recycling and plastic industries, Geoff saw the company as a reliable outlet.

He says the company shreds about five tonnes of material a day and granulates approximately a tonne an hour. The machine is capable of processing tough plastics. V1000 shredders are part of Genox’s Vision Series, which are capable of throughputs ranging from 300 kilograms an hour to 5000 kilograms, depending on the model, material type and application. These shredders are ideal for materials such as plastics and mouldings, timber and wood, paper and cardboard, copper cable, aluminium, textiles and foam. Designed for high-speed granulation, Genox’s Gran-Calibur (GC Series) is capable of sizing a variety of materials in a single pass, including plastics, rubber copper cable and organics.

At Port Lincoln, the material is run through a 40-millimetre screen before being blown into a bulker bag and prepared for transportation. The material sits in the bulker bag for three to four weeks before being transported to Moama. It is then fed into a hopper and moved onto a conveyor belt into the granulator, which reduces it from 40 millimetres to 12 millimetres. From there, it is blown into another bulker bag via a cyclone and ready to be sent off for external processing.

The new business has received extensive interest, with Geoff already looking at buying a float sink tank with a washer and dryer through Applied Machinery to develop an even cleaner product. The company will also be able to remove excess materials such as sand and shell, and process oyster nets which carry stainless steel clips.