Taking the eco road: ECO Resources

Taking the eco road: ECO Resources

ECO Resources is doubling its output, reducing contamination and improving safety with the installation of an Australian made picking, sorting and recycling facility.

Since starting off as a small site cleaning business in 2006, ECO Resources has made significant inroads in the construction, demolition and general inert recycling space.

The Perth-based company has over the past decade grown through a combination of key acquisitions and organic growth to become a major construction and demolition (C&D) waste management company and multi-user recycling business.

Since the launch of ECO’s first resources facility in 2011, the company has diverted significant volumes of C&D waste from landfill, servicing more than 200 businesses in Perth, including local councils, waste collectors and construction and demolition businesses.

Supporting and diverting more than 500,000 cubic metres of waste from landfill each year, ECO is focused on growing its landfill diversion rates beyond 93 per cent with $6 million of investment approved for 2019.

The company partners with Perth suppliers of reconstituted building blocks and produces recycled sand and roadbase compliant with Main Roads WA and state government requirements.

Steve Hyams, a consultant for ECO Resources, says the company’s ownership structure is unique to the waste industry. He says that ECO’s love of logistics and all things mechanical, combined with a passion for the environment, has been the foundation for its growth.

The company’s environmental focus prompted a review of collected waste streams, existing disposal options and recycling performance.

“The team identified that large quantities of C&D waste were heading to landfill and after meeting with similar local businesses, the team launched ECO’s first C&D recycling facility at Naval Base in Perth’s south,” Steve explains.

Following this review, the ECO team adopted a plan to eliminate reliance on third party disposal, develop C&D recovery and treatment capacity, diversify the business to cover the whole lifecycle of waste, along with a number of other benchmarks.

To increase its involvement in the C&D market, ECO Resources invested in a new picking, sorting and recycling facility. The new facility doubles its output in safety, volume and quality, while reducing contaminants and residual waste. The plant will allow the company to improve its sorting and segregating of C&D waste at its Hope Valley operations.

Commissioned in May this year, the 12-month project included tender, design, construction and delivery. Skala Australasia won the tender to deliver its first-ever C&D turnkey plant in WA.

Simon Toal, Skala Australasia Director, says the project was designed from scratch, working with ECO Resources managers and the operations team to develop the design via 3D modelling. The plant was designed to match Perth’s climatic conditions and input materials, reducing overall maintenance.

“ECO Resources has been operating other plants for a number of years and have some good experience on what works and doesn’t work,” Simon explains.

“We’ve build a number of plants down the eastern seaboard similar to this so we combined our collective experience to deliver them the best solution.”

As Skala also specialises in mining and industrial processes, it was able to apply its heavy-duty applications to the design, including in the chute design and wear components.

He says that ECO Resources was after a robust vibratory in-feed system that could handle larger input material and reduce the amount of pre-sorting and double handling. The primary in-feed system includes a General Kinematics primary fingerscreen to direct feed all material. Simon says this is able to process heavy-duty materials – a key point of different for Skala which aims to use less power and improve productivity.

The company processes multiple sized streams and therefore vibratory screens were needed for secondary and tertiary screening.

The overs line comprises an enclosed picking station plus ferrous and waste bays providing picking bays for timbers, plastic and other waste.

The secondary screening and density separation lines includes a double deck screen and multiple General Kinematics destoners for middle fraction and fines clean-up to remove plastics and paper.

In the unders line, an enclosed picking station allows for final cleaning of materials, with the final output being clean aggregate.

Simon says one of the unique attributes of the project is that a majority of the parts were designed and customised using Australian manufactured materials.

“Historically we’ve been more reliant on European integrators and fabrication which was a more modular off-the-shelf solution. With this project, we saw an opportunity to use Australian content which meant a greater adherence to local standards and availability of spare parts and componentry,” Simon says.

A number of features were designed for Australian conditions. As an example, European programmable logic controllers may not contain features such as an adequate air conditioner – important for the sweltering Perth heat. The magnets were also derived from STEINERT and made in Australia.

“We used flip flow technology because we know that performs better in wetter materials so we incorporated this for secondary and tertiary screening.”

Simon says that oversized bearings and impact rollers lead to higher service reliability and less downtime.

“It’s a lot easier for us to support a plant that is designed and built in Australia than components that are overseas.

“For the components we do import, we standardise on those which allows us to hold significant inventory, spare parts and technical capability.”

In terms of after-sales support, the plant has been designed with the ability for Skala to dial in and provide technical support where necessary, organise spare parts and conduct preventative maintenance checks.

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