From trains to roads, Downer delivers end-to-end recycling solution


Soft plastic waste from Victoria’s newest train build program is being diverted from landfill to construct Victorian roads, in an Australian-first sustainability initiative.

Downer, as part of the Evolution Rail Consortium, is delivering 65 High-Capacity Metro Trains with more than 60 per cent local content, centred on Downer’s Newport facility in Melbourne’s inner west.

In an Australian-first, the soft plastic used to protect the trains during transport is being diverted from landfill to be reused in Downer’s ReconophaltTM road surfacing products. These products are then used in the construction of major road projects across the state, including upgrades to the M80 Ring Road and the Monash Freeway.

Downer’s ReconophaltTM product is Australia’s first asphalt product containing high-recycled content derived from waste streams that would otherwise be bound for landfill.

The inclusion of waste plastics from the High-Capacity Metro Train manufacturing, means Downer is now providing a full end-to-end recycling solution.

“Downer is proud to be a leader in the circular economy,” Ross Brookshaw, Downer’s Group Manager, Environment and Sustainability said.

“We are committed to reducing the environmental footprint of the products and services we provide to our customers, and this initiative is a fantastic example of Downer’s ability to leverage our broad capability to provide an end-to-end solution that benefits our customers and communities.

“The demand from our customers, communities, industry and government for circular economy thinking to reduce waste continues to be an important issue and growth opportunity for Downer.”

Downer expects to divert more than 10 tonnes of plastic waste used on the new trains from landfill, and following reprocessing, will be used in ReconophaltTM for building Victoria’s roads.

Over the past three years, Downer has produced more than 300,000 tonnes of ReconophaltTM, using about 266 million plastic bag equivalents, 30 million glass bottle equivalents and 7.8 million printer toner cartridges, which would otherwise have ended up in landfill.

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