George Hatzimanolis, Repurpose It CEO, speaks with Waste Management Review about achieving C&D recycling process efficiency through heavy duty equipment.
As the nation’s third largest industry, construction predictably generates a significant amount of waste, representing 38 per cent of Australia’s total waste in 2017.
That said, the recycling sector has adapted quickly, with C&D recovery regularly hitting 90 per cent across major urban areas.
Repurpose It opened Australia’s first construction and demolition washing plant in March 2019, just 20 kilometres north of Melbourne’s central business district.
With a process capacity of 250 tonnes per hour, the facility accepts a variety of waste streams. These include traditional excavation waste such as rock, sand and silt and other unnatural inert materials, including concrete, grit and rail ballast.
George Hatzimanolis, Repurpose It CEO, says when dealing with material variability and tonnages of this scale, equipment reliability is crucial to achieving efficient recovery operations.
George adds that with stringent infrastructure project timelines and a steady influx of C&D carting trucks, he needs to ensure the Epping plant maintains maximum uptime.
To ensure streamlined handling and loading, George operates a range of Volvo excavators and wheel loaders. He adds that Repurpose It acquired the machines through long-term equipment partner CJD Equipment.
“We chose Volvo equipment because we feel there is an alignment between Volvo’s energy efficiency engineering values and Repurpose It’s aim to reduce our carbon footprint,” George says.
“CJD has been the preferred equipment partner of Repurpose It since the business was established, and currently offer servicing and after-sales support for the entire Volvo fleet.”
Repurpose It operates three Volvo excavators out of its facility: an EC250DL and two EC220DLs.
George says the excavators are used for general earthmoving, screen feeding, sorting and stockpiling. He adds that all three machines provide impressive fuel efficiency and operator comfort.
“Operator comfort and safety was a key factor for us, given our team is sometimes working eight hours a day in the machines,” he says.
All three excavators operate with Volvo’s modern D6 diesel engine, which reports 10 per cent extra fuel efficiency compared to competing designs.
On the loading front, Repurpose It decided on two Volvo wheel-loaders, an L110F and L220H.
“The former provides quick and easy operations, while the latter’s 32-tonne classification makes it the heavy hitter of the site,” George says.
CJD supplied both loaders with a collection of buckets, hydraulic breaks and grabs, including four-in-one hi-dump and light material buckets and fork attachments.
According to a new report from SGS Economics and Planning, Melbourne is set to overtake Sydney as Australia’s most significant economic city in 2020, largely on the back of construction. This suggests George could see an influx of material over coming years.
“Our workforce is growing as a result of the new product streams we are developing, and we’re backing that up with investment in new technology and processes,” George says.
“But it’s also important for us to maintain the efficiency of our traditional heavy machinery, which CJD facilitates through a customer-focused service strategy.”