Nominations are now open for the Sustainable Environment Award, as part of the Victorian Transport Association’s (VTA) Freight Industry Awards.
The awards recognise achievements across a range of categories, with the winners to be announced on the evening of the event.
Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA) Executive Officer Mark Smith said there are six awards available including the Sustainable Environment Award, Investment in People Award, Best Practice Safety Award, Application of Technology Award, Female Leadership Award and Young Achiever Award.
“Reflecting on the last 12 months we’ve seen some amazing projects realised by big and small operators,” Mr Smith said.
“I encourage those businesses to apply and share their good news stories. We need to hear them, especially now.”
According to Mr Smith, the Sustainable Environment Award acknowledges the close relationship between the VTA and the VWMA, and recognises implementation of a policy or program and or technological innovation that improves sustainability.
Alex Fraser Managing Director Peter Murphy said the company was honoured to be recognised at last year’s awards for its work with problematic glass waste.
“It was wonderful for our people to be recognised for their innovation, hard work and commitment to getting better outcomes for the planet,” Mr Murphy said.
Alex Fraser won the Waste and Recycling Award, now named the Sustainable Environment Award, for its efforts turning waste into valuable infrastructure building material.
Nominations are open until 28 August.
The event, themed Queen, will be held Saturday 7 September at Crown’s Palladium Ballroom in Melbourne.
Tickets to the event cost $320 (excluding GST), with a table of 10 costing $3000 (excluding GST).
For more information and to book tickets, click here.
Dozens of streets in Melbourne’s City of Bayside are using recycled asphalt in the council’s latest maintenance resurfacing project.
To complete the project, Alex Fraser is repaving residential streets throughout the suburbs of Black Rock, Brighton, Highett and Hampton with high-quality asphalt products including volumes of recycled materials.
The project utilised more than 12,000 tonnes of sustainable asphalt, including Green Roads PolyPave – a high performance asphalt product containing recycled materials, comprising HDPE plastic, glass and RAP (Recycled Asphalt Pavement).
In doing so, Bayside has reduced waste to landfill by almost 4000 tonnes and carbon emissions by more than 21,606 kilograms.
Bayside roads have reused more than 100,000 two-litre milk bottles and 3.4 million glass bottles – equivalent to 9188 wheelie bins of waste glass and plastic, or the annual kerbside recycling for 350 households.
Bayside Mayor Cr Michael Heffernan said Bayside was ramping up its use of recycled materials in road construction as part of its pledge to greater environmental sustainability.
“We are committed to becoming more sustainable in every aspect of our operations and Green Roads are a great reflection of this commitment. Our residents can be confident that the recycling in their kerbside recycling bins can have a new life as the roads we drive and ride on,” he said.
Alex Fraser Managing Director Peter Murphy said this was a standout example of how a local community can play an active and important role in the state’s circular economy.
“Local governments’ role in recycling goes far beyond kerbside collection. Bayside City Council provides an excellent illustration of how local communities can maximise returns from resource recovery. By choosing to invest in recycled resources, Bayside has made significant commercial savings and reduced the carbon footprint of their project by around 65 per cent,” Mr Murphy said.
As Alex Fraser celebrates its 140th anniversary, Waste Management Review details the company’s efforts to become one of Australia’s leading providers of recycled construction materials.
Not many Australian companies have 140 years of operation behind them. Such a milestone is even more extraordinary when you consider the enormous changes that have occurred over the past century – from two world wars to some of the most challenging economic recessions.
Alex Fraser is one organisation that recently hit that 140-year milestone, attributing its long history of success to investment in its people and its business. As a result, the company was able to swiftly respond to major shifts in material usage and keep pace with changing community expectations.
While the company is synonymous with building a sustainable construction sector, its humble beginnings were in the metals sector.
In 1879, Alex Fraser was a founding member of a metal broker firm, in Queen Street, Melbourne, run by the Melbourne Metal Exchange (MME).
With the price of metal fluctuating on an almost daily basis, Fraser and his fellow MME members controlled the entire output from Barrier Mines as well as other important mines throughout the country with silver, lead, zinc and tin the principle metals.
In the early 1920s, Fraser made the decision to retire and return to his country of birth, leaving the business to a clerk employed with the company – Archibald McKellar. McKellar’s 11 years with the business helped him grow the business throughout the Great Depression and eventually take over as owner.
With the passing of McKellar Snr, his son Archie took over after World War II in the 1950s. Margins were difficult at the time and with stiff competition in the tin and lead business, McKellar Jnr set looked for new opportunities, starting with the demolition and recycling of metal from returned fighter jets and tanks from the war.
Many of these initial opportunities saw Alex Fraser become a pioneer in commercial recycling, including plastics and dry nylon recycling. During the 60s and 70s, demolitions became a prominent activity for Alex Fraser and by the late 70s, its primary industry.
The early 80s marked the beginning of a new age in Alex Fraser’s recycling story as it embarked on one of its most ambitious projects yet. Led by Jamie McKellar and his brothers Robert and Peter, the family’s third generation began to transform large quantities of construction and demolition (C&D) waste, like concrete, asphalt, brick and stone, into new construction resources such as aggregates and roadbase.
With the establishment of its first concrete recycling site in Port Melbourne, Alex Fraser started to grow its employee base from an initial few to more than 260 across five recycling plants in Queensland and Victoria.
Alex Fraser Asphalt was launched in the 1990s. It quickly expanded to include two high-capacity asphalt plants on opposite ends of Melbourne’s metro area and five asphalt crews renowned for their quality workmanship and reliability.
Together, Alex Fraser’s recycling and asphalt operations work with local governments, contractors and asset owners to build greener roads throughout Melbourne and Brisbane, reducing the carbon footprint of construction by up to 65 per cent.
DEVELOPING A REPUTATION
One of its biggest milestones arose in 1992, when governments, councils and contractors began to recognise and support the use of recycled C&D. Alex Fraser worked closely with government to develop VicRoads specifications. These specifications have been periodically updated and set an outstanding example of government agencies supporting the use of recycled content.
Alex Fraser went from strength to strength, winning the Western Ring Road and Albert Park Grand Prix track projects and laying the foundations of Melbourne’s Crown Casino. As of 1987, it was responsible for almost half of Victoria’s C&D recycling effort.
By 2008, Alex Fraser became a major recycling enterprise, having produced 20 million tonnes of sustainable construction materials. Peter Murphy, who has been with Alex Fraser for more than 15 years, transitioned the company into its next phase of growth, stepping up to the role of Managing Director in 2011 after the company changed hands to John Swire & Sons.
Peter’s background in logistics drove Alex Fraser’s commitment to reliability, ensuring responsive delivery to its valued customers. He and his team consistently benchmark locally and internationally which has helped foster a culture of innovation and best practice at Alex Fraser.
Peter led the establishment of a network of world class recycling facilities, and spearheaded Alex Fraser’s innovative recycled glass projects.
Fast forward to 2019 and Alex Fraser’s notable achievements span turning glass into construction sand, converting historically landfilled concrete into recycled aggregates and roadbase, and using a wide variety of recyclables in its quality asphalt mixes, including recovered asphalt, glass and plastics.
It is now responsible for producing up to four million tonnes of sustainable construction material per annum, recovering millions of tonnes of demolition and glass waste and paving more than 1000 kilometres of green roads every year.
This year the company is in the midst of commissioning a world-first glass recycling plant and new high recycled technology asphalt plant, doubling the volume of recycled sand produced in Victoria while drastically increasing the volume of recycled materials incorporated in its asphalt mixes.
Peter credits the company’s innovation and agility to its people who are always looking for the next improvement, and to strengthen long-term relationships with customers and regulators.
“We work hard to provide reliable services, so our customers can get their projects done on time, on spec and on budget. On all our customer projects, supply timelines are integral to performance. If we can give them a high volume of consistent material, their project will be more efficient,” Peter explains.
He says that it was rewarding to see the efforts of Alex Fraser’s people recognised last year with the company winning the Waste and Recycling Award at the Victorian Transport Association Australian Freight Industry Awards.
“The prize commended our game-changing glass recycling operation that diverted hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste from landfill and provides resources that are badly needed to fulfil Victoria’s multi-billion-dollar infrastructure pipeline,” Peter says.
“It also substantially reduces heavy vehicle movements. There’s plenty of talk about recycling lately. We’ve been doing it for a long time on a large scale and have continued to innovate and invest.”
Of course, none of Alex Fraser’s achievements would be possible without its continued efforts to improve the end markets for recycled materials. The company conducts ongoing research and development with partners including CSIRO, Australian Road Research Board, Melbourne’s RMIT, Melbourne University and Swinburne University. Testing over an extended period on materials and pavements demonstrates that recycled aggregate matches, if not exceeds, the performance of the equivalent virgin material.
Part of its ongoing work is liaising with individual local government areas and businesses to educate them on the environmental and commercial benefits of using recycled material.
Peter says that as natural resources deplete and quarries move further afield, transport costs increase sharply.Recycled materials are not only a sustainable option, but often the most economical.
Alex Fraser’s desire to benchmark recycled materials led to a decision to partner with RMIT Centre of Design and conduct a life-cycle analysis of its recycling operation compared with a quarrying operation.
In May 2008, the results of the RMIT research were released indicating the carbon footprint of recycled crushed concrete is 65 per cent less than equivalent quarried material. These findings have subsequently been independently verified in accordance with international standard ISO14040.
“Demand is increasing and the constant challenge is to ensure that all of these major projects happening across the country are aware of sustainable alternatives,” Peter says.
“The consistent quality, compaction, transport and density benefits of recycled construction materials are well recognised as presenting substantial savings to construction costs, so they are well supported across the sector.”
He says that Alex Fraser’s recycled road base and aggregates comply with road building authorities’ specifications, such as VicRoads and Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads, and the vast majority of local governments also support the use of recycled content.
“VicRoads has a strong track record of choosing recycled materials for some of its biggest projects, including the M1 and M80,” Peter says.
Last year, Alex Fraser developed PolyPave™ – a high-performing asphalt product containing recycled materials, including plastic, glass and RAP. Melbourne’s City of Yarra was the first of many councils to incorporate the new material in its roads through a resurfacing project in late 2018.
Peter says that Alex Fraser has been planning for the long term and sets a very high benchmark in operating standards for its sites.
“This includes ensuring our operations are ‘not seen and not heard’ through extraordinary measures to address air quality management, acoustics, traffic and visual amenity as well as constantly working to reduce the carbon footprint of our own operations and our customers’.”
POSITIONED FOR GROWTH
Alex Fraser was last year acquired by construction and building material supplier Hanson Australia. Complementing Alex Fraser’s unique sustainability offering is Hanson’s technical expertise, sophisticated systems and large site network.
Peter says that Hanson’s ownership strengthens the viability of recycled materials, with great synergies between the two businesses.
“We are working together to improve efficiencies at Alex Fraser and Hanson, including recycling Hanson materials.”
As for the future of Alex Fraser? The company has continued to invest and aims to expand its capabilities with new materials and new locations.
“The new integrated facility at Laverton is a demonstration of a thriving circular economy at work. It has answered a long-standing question around how successfully waste materials can be recycled into quality resources for greener roads.”
Peter says that Alex Fraser will continue to be agile, evolving its business to align with community needs as it works towards another prosperous 140 years.
Metro Trains Melbourne recently altered their specifications to include the use of recycled materials.
The new specifications enable more than 900 tonnes of recycled glass sand to be used as bedding for the combined service route on the Kororoit Creek Road Level Crossing Removal Project.
Kororoit Creek Road is part of the VicRoads Principal Freight Network thoroughfare in Victoria’s west, taking more than 22,000 cars to Laverton, Williams, Altona and beyond.
The Level Crossing Removal Project along with the Western Program Alliance undertook a grade separation at Kororoit Creek Road (placing rail over road at Williamstown North), comprising McConnell Dowell, Arup, Mott McDonald and Metro Trains Melbourne.
Alex Fraser’s recycled sand was used as bedding material for the combined services conduit housing the communications and power cables.
Rebecca Hendy, Senior Sustainability Advisor for the Western Program Alliance said the decision to choose recycled product over virgin material was simple.
“We found a recycled, low embodied energy material that could aptly replace virgin sand; with all 900 tonnes diverted from landfill and delivered at a lower cost. It was a simple decision,” she said.
The Level Crossing Removal Project set a target for the Western Program Alliance to achieve an ‘Excellent’ sustainability rating – measured by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s rating tool – which rewards the use of recycled material.
MTM Environment and Sustainability Manager Christian Beasley said Metro Trains Melbourne now encourages all projects installing new CSR or drainage to use recycled products.
“We have access to a great new sustainable product we can use on all metropolitan railways (Metro Trains Melbourne network). Because it is a Metro Trains Melbourne specification it can be applied without requiring approval on all metropolitan railways combined service routes and drainage bedding,” said Christian.
Alex Fraser Sales Manager Jason Walsh said clear specifications were the key to increasing the use of sustainable, recycled products in new infrastructure.
“We’ve seen that recycling works best when government agencies clearly endorse the use of recycled materials in specifications. This enables the people building our infrastructure to use green products that reduce their project’s carbon footprint.
“The Kororoit Creek Road Level Crossing Removal Project is a great example of what needs to happen to achieve a circular economy around rail infrastructure materials. Congratulations to the teams at the Level Crossing Removal Project the Western Program Alliance for this initiative; especially Rebecca and Christian who enabled a change that will bring about better outcomes for the community and environment,” Mr Walsh said.
Over the years, Green Roads by Alex Fraser has diverted almost one million tonnes of glass from landfill to supply recycled glass sand (in asphalt, road base and pipe bedding) to a variety of Victorian road and infrastructure projects.
The upcoming launch of Alex Fraser’s new state-of-the-art glass recycling plant will enable recycling of even the most problematic glass waste streams (like CSP) into into clean, high-specification construction sand; putting an end to landfill and stockpiling of glass in Victoria.
Around 100 tonnes of recycled glass and plastic have been used in a road resurfacing project in Melbourne’s City of Yarra.
A road resurfacing trial took place in the suburb of Richmond, with Stanley and Margaret Street repaved with an asphalt product containing recycled glass, asphalt and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic.
The project repurposed around 7300 two litres plastic bottles and 55,000 glass bottles, which is equivalent to the annual kerbside recycling collection for every household on Stanley Street.
The City of Yarra engaged recycling company Alex Fraser for the project and has called on the company to repair and repave more streets in the coming weeks, which will use an additional 1000 tonnes of sustainable asphalt.
Alex Fraser Managing Director Peter Murphy said this was a prime example of how a circular economy can be achieved – with government, industry and community working together to recycle problem waste streams, and invest in recycled materials to build new, sustainable infrastructure.
“The City of Yarra’s progressive approach to the use of sustainable material is an excellent illustration of how local councils can proactively reuse the waste generated in their communities to build and maintain their cities while reducing the carbon footprint of their projects by up to 65 per cent,” Mr Murphy said.
City of Yarra Mayor Daniel Nguyen said the City of Yarra had worked with Alex Fraser to incorporate sustainable materials like glass and recycled concrete into its road works.
“As a council with a strong focus on sustainability we are excited about using recycled plastics in our latest roadworks for the wide range of environmental benefits it delivers,” said Cr Nguyen.
Close to 700 members of the Australian freight and logistics industry gathered in Melbourne Saturday evening to celebrate the achievements of winners and finalists of the Victorian Transport Association’s (VTA) Australian Freight Industry Awards (AFIA).
The annual awards recognise excellence from transport operator and supplier companies and individuals across a range of categories and celebrate the enormous contribution the industry makes to the national economy.
Seven award winners were recognised at the AFIAs this year, which were proudly sponsored by TWUSUPER and Viva Energy Australia and held in the Palladium Ballroom at Crown Melbourne.
This year’s AFIAs acknowledged the importance of the waste and recycling sector through the Waste and Recycling Award.
Four finalists were announced on the night, with waste company Alex Fraser winning the coveted award.
Alex Fraser has developed a recycling process to convert waste glass into sand to be used in construction of new roads and infrastructure, harnessing the valuable resource needed to fulfil Victoria’s multi-billion dollar infrastructure pipeline.
More than 850,000 tonnes of waste glass have been diverted from landfill to be recycled into high-quality construction sand and sold on to Victoria’s councils and developers.
Other finalists include the Melbourne International RoRo Automotive Terminal (MIRRAT), which will allow for the number of vehicles handled by the Port of Melbourne to rise from 370,000 in 2013 to one million by 2035.
Cleanaway’s South East Melbourne Transfer Station saw the company announced as a finalist, with the facility to be a critical part of the state’s waste and recycling network.
Resource recovery company Close the Loop was also announced as a finalist for the award, in part due to the company’s collaboration with construction company Downer.
The winners of the night were:
Paul Retter AM, National Transport Commission, Personality of the Year Award – sponsored Transport for Victoria
Jacquelene Brotherton, Oxford Cold Storage & Transport Women Australia, Female Leadership in Transport – sponsored by Viva Energy Australia
Katrina Burns, SCT Logistics, Young Achiever of the Year Award – sponsored by Daimler Truck & Bus
Alex Fraser Group, Waste & Recycling Award – sponsored by National Transport Insurance
L. Fraumano Transport, Application of Technology Award – sponsored by Transport Certification Australia
Transking Innovations, Best Practice Safety Award – sponsored by CMV Truck & Bus
Barker Trailers, Investment in People Award – sponsored by Logical Staffing Solutions
VTA CEO Peter Anderson announced the winners, who were presented with their award by VTA President Cameron Dunn and Victorian Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan, representing the Victorian Government and Transport for Victoria.
“The Australian Freight Industry Awards showcase the very best our industry has to offer and with dozens of high-quality applications received across the various categories it’s clear the transport industry is committed to innovation, improvement and best practice,” said Mr Anderson.
(Image L-R: VTA CEO, Peter Anderson, Victorian Roads Minister, Luke Donellan, Victorian Women’s Minister, Natalie Hutchins, Female Leadership in Transport Award Winner, Jacquelene Brotherton, VTA President, Cameron Dunn.)