26/08/2010 - 00:00

$6m plant to boost glass recycling

26/08/2010 - 00:00

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NATIONAL glass recycler Colmax Glass is aiming to increase Western Australia’s glass recycling rates from about 25 per cent to more than 80 per cent within 12 months with the opening of its reprocessing plant in Kewdale.

NATIONAL glass recycler Colmax Glass is aiming to increase Western Australia’s glass recycling rates from about 25 per cent to more than 80 per cent within 12 months with the opening of its reprocessing plant in Kewdale.

Colmax managing director Peter Harkins said the plant would cost around $6 million to build, but would have been substantially more expensive had Colmax not performed most of its fabrication in-house.

The Kewdale facility will be partly funded by the state government through the WA Waste Authority and through the National Environment Protection Council’s Australian Packaging Covenant.

“The WA government and the Australian Packaging Covenant have put in a fairly substantial amount of money; it’s more than 50 per cent of the plant’s cost, which is a big investment on their part,” Mr Harkins told WA Business News.

Mr Harkins said that, currently in WA between 10,000 and 15,000 tonnes of glass each year is transported to South Australia for recycling, equating to a glass recycling rate of around 25 per cent.

WA has not had a dedicated glass recycling facility in operation since 2003.

The Kewdale plant will have the capacity to recycle between 20,000 and 60,000t of glass each year.

“We believe there is at least 40,000t available through traditional recycling streams in the greater Perth area, and indications are that it could be substantially more than that,” Mr Harkins said.

“I think there is a real possibility that glass recycling is going to go up above 80 per cent within 12 months, which would take WA from having by far the worst recycling rate of glass for any state, to by far the best.”

Colmax will initially transport and sell the majority of its recycled materials in existing eastern states markets, but intends to keep the majority of the glass in WA when the plant is more well-established.

“The intention over a period of five years is to try and keep a large proportion of the glass in WA, but we can’t start off with that, it’s more important to get the volume going first,” Mr Harkins said.

 

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