Bendigo takes soft plastics collection into its own hands

soft plastic roadmap

The City of Greater Bendigo has begun offering its own free soft plastics drop off points, following the recent pausing of the REDcycle collection scheme.

The new collection points – located at Strathfieldsaye, Goornong, and Heathcote Transfer Stations, as well as the Eaglehawk Recycle Shop – will accept the same soft plastics that were accepted by REDcycle.

City of Greater Bendigo Resource Recovery and Education Manager Brooke Pearce said all soft plastics collected at the new drop off points will be bailed by the City and collected by recycling partner Close the Loop.

“The City is also committed to buying the recycled product back for use in its regional road projects,” she said.

“Close the Loop will recycle the material at the completion of their new processing line, where it will be turned into an award-winning product called TonerPlas – an asphalt additive used in road building that is manufactured in Melbourne.

Pearce said the City of Greater Bendigo has committed to using TonerPlas in road projects to help create demand for the recycled soft plastics.

“TonerPlas is a high-performance asphalt additive that helps roads last longer and require less maintenance than traditional asphalt,” she said.

“It is designed to melt into, extend and modify the bituminous binder in asphalt and improve the mechanical properties of the product, leading to improved durability and lower carbon footprint over the lifecycle of the road.”

Pearce said that more than 300,000 tonnes of soft plastic is dumped into Australian landfills each year.

“Not only is this bad for the environment, it is a massive waste of valuable resources that can be re-used and re-purposed into high performance products like TonerPlas,” she said.

“We are excited that Close the Loop has partnered with the City to recycle the soft plastics we collect at the new drop off points, and we look forward to furthering our circular economy efforts by purchasing back TonerPlas for use in our local roads.

“The City will continue to look at further opportunities for more soft plastics disposal points across the municipality in 2023.

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REDcycle suspends soft plastics collection, industry reacts


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