Wastech welcomes $20M CRC grants

Wastech Engineering has welcomed the Federal Government’s $20 million commitment to grow Australia’s domestic recycling capabilities.

Funds are available through round eight of the Cooperative Research Centre grants program, which opened 13 August.

Wastech Managing Director Neil Bone said the grants are a step in the right direction, following the Council of Australian Governments export ban announcement on 9 August.

“Companies such as Wastech are ready and well prepared to assist local government and industry, with a wide range of solutions and products that will meet the desired outcomes of converting waste products into useful products for the Australian consumer,” Mr Bone said.

“This is a fantastic initiative by the Federal Government, and allows any organisation with an interest in diverting waste from landfill to apply for the grant and start minimising its environmental footprint.”

Mr Bone said in addition to reducing waste, the program will likely spark job creation and further recycling sector growth.

“With Wastech’s proven industry capabilities and equipment range, we can offer turn-key solutions for material recovery, including co-mingled recyclables, municipal solid waste, construction and demolition, commercial and industrial, waste to energy and e-waste,” Mr Bone said.

“Wastech personnel can also assist interested parties in applying for these grants.”

Related stories:

World’s first composting hackathon

The aim for Yarrabilba in south east Queensland to become Australia’s first ‘sustainable food city’ has given rise to the world’s first compost hackathon.

As part of the Food Agility CRC project, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Lendlease invited tech-savvy groups to develop a prototype for community composting.

Centre for Recycling of Organic Waste and Nutrients Director Johannes Biala said the event was organised as a hackathon to bring coders, developers and designers together around a common cause.

“Hackathon competitors were asked to develop high-tech organics recycling and food production systems, where in-situ monitoring and data collection facilitates a ‘green credit’ reward and incentive based circular economy for organics,” Mr Biala said.

“Fun, food and connections was the motto of the hackathon, which was hosted and facilitated by Substation 33 — an e-waste recycling and digital innovation social enterprise in Logan, south of Brisbane.”

The event included peer-to-peer skills exchange, roving technology, innovation and business mentors and the opportunity to meet Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp.

“Team names such as Rawesome Foursome, Rumble Tumble, Green Cycle, Throw’n’ Grow and Wastey Boyz is a good indication that everyone had a good time,” Mr Biala said.

“It was also hard work for all competitors, for example, one group developed a fully integrated network of existing and start-up companies to make a circular economy for organics work.”

Mr Biala said other examples included a prototype for a sensor driven rotary home composter and a sensor enabled organics collection bin that rejects non-organic materials.

“Prize money of $1000 for the winning team was incentive enough for competing teams to put on the thinking cap and burn the midnight oil,” Mr Biala said.

“In the end, the judges selected the Wastey Boyz as the winning team. The presentation of the prize money in form of an old fashioned cheque gave most of them the opportunity to see a fossil of our payment system for the first time in their lives.”

Project leader and QUT Lecturer Dr Carol Richards said the winning team would be invited to work with Substation 33 to further develop the prototype, with the aim of piloting the innovation at the Yarrabilba master planned community.

Related stories:

Tyre Stewardship invests in crumb rubber concrete

The University of South Australia, with funding from Tyre Stewardship Australia, is working to develop and test reinforced crumbed rubber concrete (CRC), for use in the residential construction industry.

CRC is made by replacing sand with crumb rubber, from end-of-life tyres, in concrete mixes.

Tyre Stewardship CEO Lina Goodman said the University of South Australia testing has assessed both the material itself and its structural properties, with encouraging results.

“Nearly 40 per cent of the annual total of approximately 9.6 million cubic metres of Australian pre-mixed concrete is used for residential construction,” Ms Goodman said.

“That volume presents a significant opportunity to consume very substantial quantities of recycled rubber, and could account for a large proportion of the 56 million end-of-life tyres Australia generates each year.”

According to Ms Goodman, CRC showed no difference in performance when compared with conventional concrete during a full-scale trial of residential slabs.

“There were no issues related to the mixing and delivery of CRC by a commercial ready-mix supplier, and the residential slab contractors working with the new product reported easy application and no difference when finishing the concrete surface,” Ms Goodman said.

“In addition, as with conventional concrete, no visual deterioration was observed on the rubber concrete slab surface after three months. All the initial results indicate that CRC in residential slabs is a promising and potentially viable alternative to conventional concrete.”

Ms Goodman said the commercial potential for CRC is considerable, with positive properties including increased toughness and impact resistance, reduced tendency for cracking and shrinkage and better acoustic and thermal insulation.

“Given the ongoing population growth that is sure to sustain a growing domestic construction industry, the work we are supporting on the development and testing of CRC is one of the most promising areas of market development,” Ms Goodman said.

“Ultimately, the aim is to find valuable uses for tyre-derived material that generate a strong domestic market, create a value for the resource and, in that way, deliver a sustainable circular economy outcome.”

Related stories:

X