Transfer station prioritises customer experience

Western Australia’s City of Busselton has developed a new and cost-effective waste transfer station, incorporating state of the art technologies and the unique use of recycled materials.

How do you bring waste transfer into the 21st century?

In a once-in-a-generation opportunity, the City of Busselton, which lies in the south west of Western Australia, has torn down its tip and started from scratch.

The regional coastal city incorporated the use of recycled materials in a six-month construction process from April to October, 2016.

With more than 10 years’ experience in the waste industry, Vitor Martins, City of Busselton’s Manager Waste and Fleet Services, says the new facility operates with greater efficiency and puts the customer first.

It’s a concept that’s involved a regimented community education program, as customers transition to a new system of dropping off their waste to a designated area.

Rather than construct a transfer station at a previously undeveloped site, the Busselton Waste Transfer Station has been built on top of the former transfer station and old landfill.

Ertech provided a competitive tender, Vitor says, offering an alternative design for the retaining wall.

He says the tender was most competitive due to Ertech’s offer to use recycled materials available on site, including recycled tyres, bricks and concrete.

“The concrete structure of the retaining wall at the general waste drop-off area, included the recycling of used tyres, so over 200 tyres were included in the retaining wall structure,” Vitor says.

The original waste disposal cell had been decommissioned since 2012, with the site operating as a Waste Transfer Station only.

Non-recyclable waste was transported to the Dunsborough Waste Facility for disposal.

However, after stricter environmental regulations were introduced by the Department of Environment Regulation, burial at the site was no longer permitted.

As a result, the new waste transfer station was built on top of the former tip site.

With an eye for the customer experience, the new facility was based on other state of the art transfer stations in Europe, including the UK, Ireland, Portugal, and in metropolitan areas in Australia.

It comes with CCTV cameras, designated areas for waste disposal, fully sealed roads and enthusiastic staff ready to explain the seamless process to their customers.

Vitor says CCTV cameras ensure customers dispose of their waste in the correct area, while guarantying security of the site at all times.

Commencing in May 2016, Vitor says the project involved demolishing the existing structures at the site, constructing new roads and a gatehouse building, the installation of a new drop-off area and electrical and communication conduits, as well as appropriate drainage and disposal of potentially contaminated stormwater.

He explains that in developing the retaining wall structure, Ertech supplied Lomwest proprietary prefabricated concrete walls, which included whole recycled tyres within their structure used as fill materials.

“This has allowed substantial savings in terms of additional concrete that we’d have to pour otherwise.”

Vitor says the process involved bundling and tying the tyres together, then hanging them in position over a casting bed. One side of the wall was then poured, casting the tyres into that slab. When cured, the slab and tyres were turned over and the second slab was poured, again casting the tyres into it. After curing, the wall was transported to site and lifted into position.

The retaining wall structure included a 6,000 m2 surfacing of road base materials comprising of recycled bricks and concrete, Vitor says, which formed much of the asphalted surface.

The structure also incorporated recycled construction and demolition materials stockpiled over a four-year period, including crushed bricks and concrete, produced by feeding sorted and cleaned construction debris into a jaw crusher and screeners.

“As we were building it, we had the final users in mind. There was a lot of calibration and trialling as we went along and some minor improvements we had to do to the original design, but no major challenges.”

To read more, see page 30 of Issue 11.

Pictured: Vitor Martins, Manager Waste and Fleet Services, with Mayor Grant Henley.

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