Downer partner with CDEnviro for Sydney detritus processing facility

A new Detritus Processing Facility in Rosehill, NSW, will divert more than 21,000 tonnes of waste annually from landfill, to be separated, cleaned and sorted into valuable products and materials for reuse.

The facility, opened by construction company Downer and partnered with CDEnviro, can recycle several different types of materials from everyday waste streams.

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Materials such as organic matter, sand, gravel, metals and plastics are able to be separated and then sold for reuse.

Downer’s Executive General Manager Road Services Dante Cremasco said the Detritus Processing Facility creates economic, social and environmental value for material that would end up in landfill, or end up as a pollutant in our natural environments.

“The Rosehill Detritus Processing Facility is capable of cost effectively processing, separating and cleaning upwards of 25,000 tonnes annually from everyday waste streams such as street sweepings or stormwater. Approximately 85 per cent of it is then converted into meaningful streams of use such as organic matter, sand, gravel, metals and plastic,” he said.

“The facility is about pulling product, not pushing waste, as these products can be utilised in compost, asphalt for roads that Downer builds and building materials,” Mr Cremasco said.

The facility is able to support the optimisation of street sweeping operations in metroplitian Sydney, which aims to enable some street sweepers to complete more than one load per shift.

“The proximity of the facility to street sweeping operations in metropolitan Sydney will see further benefits through improved efficiency with shorter distances travelled by street sweepers. This will in turn allow for improved productivity, reduced fuel consumption and longer equipment life.”

NSW Environment and Protection Authority (EPA) Director Resource Recovery Kathy Giunta said the EPA is committed to supporting research and the introduction of new technologies to boost recycling in the state.

“This project is one of several the government has supported through the Recycling Innovation Fund, a part of Waste Less Recycle More initiative and is a good example of innovation in recycling,” she said.

Downer partners with Close the Loop for Australian-first project

Soft plastics from plastic bags and packaging and glass bottle equivalents will be diverted from landfill to construct a Victorian road in an Australian-first trial.

Integrated infrastructure organisation Downer and Hume City Council have partnered with resource recovery and recycling companies Close the Loop and RED Group to set a new benchmark in sustainability.

The trial will comprise approximately 200,000 bags and packaging and 63,000 glass bottle equivalents. The initiative is supported by the Victorian Government’s Resource Recovery Market Development Fund, more information on that here. 

Along with soft plastics and glass, toner from more than 4500 used printer cartridges and 50 tonnes of recycled asphalt were also repurposed to create 250 tonnes of asphalt that will be used to construct a road in and around Rayfield Avenue, Craigieburn, located in Melbourne’s north.

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Downer’s Executive General Manager Road Services, Dante Cremasco said the milestone event showed that partnerships with other thought leaders can create economic, social and environmental value for products. He added these are products that would more than likely end up in landfill, stockpiled, or as a pollutant in our natural environments.

Mr Cremasco said that together with its customer Hume City Council and partners, Downer has set a new benchmark in the construction industry.

“What is also pleasing to see is that this sustainable, cost competitive road has a 65 per cent improvement in fatigue life and a superior resistance to deformation making the road last longer, and allowing it to better handle heavy vehicle traffic,” Mr Cremasco said

Hume Mayor Geoff Porter said the council was proud to join Downer and its partners in the Australian-first trial.

“Hume City Council is very proud to be home to Australia’s first road which sees soft plastics and glass diverted from landfills and repurposed to create local roads,” Cr Porter said.

“We look forward to monitoring the trial of this recycled asphalt and how the new surface performs over time.”

Cr Porter said sustainability is a key priority for the council and its community.

“This is just one way we are working in partnership to respond to recycling industry concerns and highlights the importance of residents and businesses recycling materials, particularly soft plastics and glass, properly,” Cr Porter said.

Downer partnered with Close the Loop and RED Group to tailor waste products such as soft plastics to suit a road construction application.

Close the Loop Australia General Manager Nerida Mortlock said its partnership with Downer and RED Group has allowed the company to work collaboratively to improve the way it designs and manufactures sustainable outcomes for waste that can be reused.

“We are very pleased to set yet another industry benchmark, seeing soft plastics used for the first time in an Australian road,” Ms Mortlock said.

RED Group Elizabeth Kasell said it demonstrates a great step toward a circular system, where soft plastic packaging recovered through the REDcycle Program and other materials previously destined for landfill can be used as a resource for Australian roads.

Vict Govt launches Resource Recovery Market Development Fund

The Victorian Government has announced a new $2.5 million fund to help develop markets for Victoria’s recyclable waste, and boost research and development into recycling.

Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio on Tuesday launched the Resource Recovery Market Development Fund in Craigieburn, Melbourne where major road builder Downer is trialling an asphalt mix containing recycled plastic bags, printer cartridges and glass in road surfacing.

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Downer received $67,000 from the fund, which will be managed by Sustainability Victoria and support researchers and industry in finding new ways to use recovered resources.

Downer estimates that up to 15 per cent of asphalt could contain soft plastics and that up to 10 million tonnes of recyclable waste could be diverted from landfill every year using their new approach.

Sustainability Victoria provided Close the Loop with $40,000 for equipment to develop the plastic additive used in the asphalt mix.

The fund builds on $80 million over four years invested by the Victorian Government into waste and resource recovery.

Applications for the Resource Recovery Market Development Fund will open in July.

Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the new fund will help support new industries and stimulate a circular economy for recyclable material.