The value of waste: CDE

Waste Management Review explores how CDE wet processing technology is supporting Melbourne-based recycling company Repurpose It to reduce a reliance on landfills.

Operating from its 150-acre rehabilitated quarry site in Epping, Repurpose It has an ambitious vision to achieve a 100 per cent recycling rate across its complete waste portfolio.

Likewise, it aims to ensure zero unnecessary waste is destined for landfill. This vision is perfectly aligned with CDE, an industry-leading manufacturer of wet processing technologies, whose ethos is unlock a “New World of Resource”.

To achieve its aspirational environmental aims, George Hatzimanolis, CEO of Repurpose It, turned to CDE to design and engineer a state-of-the-art solution to transform construction, demolition and excavation (CD&E) waste, along with contaminated railway ballast, into in-spec sand and aggregate products that meet the requirements of the local building industry.

George says Repurpose It is committed to recycling products at the end of their lifecycle to transform them into materials that will be used at the beginning of a new lifecycle. These include waste previously considered difficult to process, he adds.

“To achieve 100 per cent recycling of construction and demolition waste, we required a wet processing solution that could efficiently separate and wash every available fraction of material in the feed,” George says.

CDE’s solution, a first-of-its-kind in Australia, incorporates a selection of modular elements that work in synergy to produce best-in-class results, including an AggMax logwasher, the latest in the CDE patented Infinity screening range, a ProGrade H2-60 screen, an EvoWash sand classification and dewatering system, conveyors, a decanter centrifuge and AquaCycle thickener.

Every day, the plant processes up to 150 tonnes an hour of CD&E waste into high-value construction products, which would have otherwise been bound for landfill.

CDE’s customised solution processes CD&E waste and rinses and grades it to make six in-spec products, four aggregates (4-10, 10-20, 20-150, 50-100 oversize) and two sands (0-2 and 0-4).

Daniel Webber, CDE Australasia Regional Manager, says entrepreneurial companies such as Repurpose It have identified that the Sydney Basin and Melbourne are running out of sand.

“The depletion of local sand reserves means that construction and concrete companies now have to transport sand via road from further away or turn increasingly to the production of manufactured sands from hard rock deposits which are more expensive to mine and more hard-wearing on plant and equipment,” Daniel explains.

“This is where CD&E waste processing plants come into their own. They accept waste feed from metropolitan areas and clean it to repurpose it back into the local construction market.”

At the same time, Daniel says there is limited room available for tailing ponds.   

“CDE’s world-leading water recovery and tailings treatment technologies are used to make dry tailings that can be transformed into marketable products themselves,” he adds.

Hand-in-hand with protecting the planet’s finite natural resources is protecting the Earth itself and minimising the carbon emissions associated with the industry.

Vitally, the innovative wet processing plant commissioned for Repurpose It by CDE enables the waste-to-resource business to reduce its carbon dioxide output by more than 84,000 tonnes per year, based on processing 500,000 tonnes of feed material.

“Our investment demonstrates our commitment to reducing the construction industry’s reliance on extractive resources and underpins our company values of creating value from waste,” George says.

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Demolishing waste: CJD Equipment and Repurpose It

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.”

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Repurpose It engages WTT for composting study

Repurpose It has engaged Waste Treatment Technologies (WTT) to run a feasibility study for a best practice fully integrated anaerobic digestion and in-vessel composting facility.

According to a WTT statement, the engagement includes the opportunity for WTT to design, build and commission parts of the required technology package.

“Repurpose It is a waste to resource business that holds the fundamental belief that all waste can be converted to valuable resources,” the statement reads.

“Combined with WTT’s global experience, advanced technology and engineering to convert organic waste into new resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, this cooperation is a very exciting first step, and potentially the first in a long lasting business relationship.”

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Untapped potential: Repurpose It

Repurpose It has partnered with a leading mulch distributor to scale up its green waste capabilities and support the Victorian marketplace with value-added garden supplies.

Melbourne’s resource recovery network is filled with passionate and experienced businesses often quietly operating in the background to ensure consistent and clean material supply.

Producing value-added end products is the bread and butter of recycling, and in the area of green waste, there’s a multitude of expertise waiting to be untapped.

As one of Victoria’s leading garden supply distributors, Bark King provides barks and mulches to most garden supplies in metropolitan and rural areas. Its extensive product range spans barks, coloured decorative, natural and recycled timber mulches, softplay, compost and soil.

As a supplier for government departments, landscape firms and educational institutions, sustainability has formed part of the company’s ethos since its humble beginnings in 1975.

Now in its 44th year of trading, the Australian-owned company is directed by Founder Harrold Johnston’s sons Robert, Jeff and Stuart.

Using sustainable raw materials ensures Bark King offers a closed loop solution with its entire product range a by-product of other processes.

While Bark King offers its own unique value proposition to the market, it has discovered the power of collaborative partnerships, working extensively over the past two years with construction and demolition recycler Repurpose It.

Repurpose It was founded by four experienced operators across a variety of sectors spanning logistics, road sweeping and construction, organics waste processing and infrastructure maintenance.

In the area of organics, Co-founder Anthony van Schaik brought considerable experience as a Managing Director in the organics sector and it’s these established networks that inspired Bark King and Repurpose It to work together.

Since acquiring a unique 150-acre site in early 2017 in Epping, Melbourne, Repurpose It has formed a variety of partnerships with councils, contractors working on major projects and resource recovery organisations to process a variety of wastes.

Through its state-of-the-art construction and demolition washing plant, Repurpose It has continually refined its capabilities to accept organics, glass, street sweepings and excavation waste such as rock, sand and silt from major projects.

Repurpose It’s ability to receive and process street sweepings led Bark King to begin working with the company in June 2017, with Bark King taking and processing its materials at its Hallam facility.

Ashley Johnston, Bark King Business Development Manager, says it wasn’t long before an opportunity arose for the company to grow its partnership by relocating to the Epping site.

By processing Repurpose It’s green and timber waste, Bark King was able to substantially increase its market share and reintroduce finished products back into the agricultural and forestry industries.

Bark King could also offer its services on the transport side, while Repurpose It leveraged its extensive Epping site, which is uniquely positioned near major arterial roads.

“Recovering organic material, including pine bark, using our large fleet of trucks is the core of our business,” Ashley explains.

“Contributing to Australia’s smart, low-carbon economy of the future by playing our part in reducing disposal and recovering as much value from Australia’s natural resources is a goal that Bark King achieves every time a customer purchases one of our products.”

Complementing Repurpose It’s vision of industrial ecology, nothing Bark King receives ends up in landfill, with organics a prominent focus.

Ashley says that Bark King sources by-products from the local Victorian, South Australian and NSW forestry industry, processing around 75,000 tonnes per year. Organic residues are processed at its three sites in Hallam, Epping and Montrose and recycled into natural bark products.

Bark King applies strict guidelines on what it receives, ensuring any contaminated products are stopped at the weighbridge and fees applied. The green waste comes from a variety of councils and major project contractors in the building and demolition space and their respective waste management contractors.

“The joint partnership allowed both companies to use the best practices developed over the past 45 years to recycle and reintroduce products back to the market as high-quality organic growing substrates, soil conditioners and garden mulch, playing our part in the circular economy.”

Ashley says that sharing the same site as Repurpose It, which creates high-value end products, has given Bark King the refresh it needed to explore and play with new industry techniques.

“This ensures all natural pine bark supplied by Bark King is processed by us and not reliant on others,” he says.

He says that being able to manufacture quality products is very important to Bark King and great care is taken to ensure consistency across its range.

For example in its playground range, the company tests and accredits their playground surfacing to AS/NZS 4422 and AS4685 regulations. Bark King produces more than 75,000 cubic metres of soft cushioning mulch designed specifically for playgrounds and safeguards.

Ashley says that the agricultural and forestry industries play a key role in managing our natural resources and as the sectors become more sustainable, the partnership with Repurpose It only becomes more important.

Repurpose It’s George Hatzimanolis says the opportunity to partner with like-minded businesses that share the company’s vision for preserving Victoria’s resources for future generations has been mutually rewarding.

“Bark King’s product range and existing market outlets has enabled Repurpose It to broaden outs is service offerings to its clients and provide a closed loop service for organic waste streams being generated from major infrastructure project,” he says

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Repurpose It launches Australian-first washing plant

Repurpose It has launched Australia’s first $8.5 million construction and demolition washing plant facility with Downer, who have come on board as a 50 per cent partner.

The 150 acre facility will recover and treat residual waste and process it into materials suitable for the civil construction industry, with a focus on reducing the reliance on excavated materials.

Repurpose It’s new washing plant will focus on reducing CO2 emissions, saving more than 84,000 tonnes of CO2 annually or the equivalent of planting 300,000 trees and 295 million kilometres of car travel.

This is achieved through a process of washing and recycling ordinarily difficult to recover materials through advanced screening, scrubbing and water treatment.

Repurpose It’s Founder and CEO, George Hatzimanolis explained change in the industry is vital following the sharp growth in demand for extractive resources in Victoria’s infrastructure sector and the growing number of materials buried under landfill.

“Our new construction and demolition washing plant will revolutionise the way we manage waste through our investment in cutting edge technology, allowing us to supply in-demand materials back to the industry while preserving the environment”, Mr Hatzimanolis said.

Downer Executive General Manager of Road Services Dante Cremasco said the plant highlighted the importance of partnerships to deliver sustainable practices and solutions in Australia.

“The new recycling facility demonstrates that with strong partnerships we can deliver change.

“It’s incumbent on all of us to work together to drive the circular economy, creating new avenues to recycle and repurpose waste materials into new streams of use. It is all about pulling products that we can use, not pushing waste,” Mr Cremasco said.

Victorian Government Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the state government invested $500,000 into the project as part of a Resource Recovery Infrastructure grant.

“We’re supporting large-scale infrastructure projects like this one to reduce Victoria’s dependence on landfills, create new jobs and drive investment.

“Our Recycling Industry Strategic Plan is helping Victoria’s recycling sector adjust to changes in world recycling markets so more material is diverted from landfill,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

Repurpose It will partner with the state government on other projects to integrate waste into road and rail infrastructure works, including the Level Crossing Removal Project, Metro Trains, North East Link and the Western Distributor.

The latest round of the Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund is now open, with grants between $40,000 and $500,000 available to support efficient sorting, and the recovery and reprocessing of priority materials such as plastic, paper, cardboard and glass.

A further $1.2 million is also available to support the market development of recycled materials.

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Repurpose It goes Volvo buying excavators and loaders

Australian waste-to-resource company Repurpose It have opted for Volvo Construction Equipment’s excavators and loaders for their Victorian plant.

The five new machines will assist the company’s loading and handling duties to assist in their recycling operation that sees large quantities of waste material re-used in the construction industry.

One Volvo EC250DL and two EC220DL units were chosen for excavation duties on the site, Repurpose It aims to input the tools on general earthmoving, screen feeding, sorting and stockpiling projects.

The company chose the L110F and L220H two-wheeled loaders for their loading work which will see hopper fed into their new recycling plant.

Repurpose It CEO George Hatzimanolis said that the company was happy to choose Volvo as the manufacturer alings with their energy efficiency commitments and engineering values.

“Our business is focused on reducing our carbon footprint and working towards a more sustainable future, as is Volvo,” Mr Hatzimanolis said.

“We were also attracted to the quality that comes with Volvo machines.”

The two EC220DL excavation units chosen for the site uses Volvo’s modern D6 diesel engine reporting 10% extra fuel efficiency over its competitors.

The Volvo machines were purchased from Dandenong’s CJD Equipment, Volvo’s exclusive Australian distribution partner.

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