THE company responsible for turning construction and demolition waste into road base for the Great Eastern Highway expansion says suspension of the project is unfounded and delaying Western Australia’s recycling progress.
Capital Recycling has requested a meeting with Transport Minister Troy Buswell to convince him its process of recycling the waste is safe and the end product asbestos-free.
It follows the minister’s request that the project be suspended over concerns that the material contained asbestos fibres and was therefore putting the public at risk.
Capital Recycling general manager David Markham told WA Business News the company undertook rigorous checks to ensure it was safe; no contaminated substance was admitted to the site in the first instance, and further checks continued up until the point that independent laboratories tested the material.
None of the checks or testing of material for the Great Eastern project had detected any trace of asbestos, Mr Markham said, which made the project’s suspension unfounded.
“When it boils down to it it’s been suspended based on unsubstantiated comments and innuendo,” he said.
“There are comments that have been made from a couple of areas in industry in Perth citing fears and concerns, but it’s also been pointed out that they were unsubstantiated.”
Main Roads WA requested the company undertake additional testing, with initial results due this week.
The additional testing being undertaken was based on Department of Health regulations for asbestos-contaminated sites, which Mr Markham said was taking precautions to the extreme.
“But that’s been done to give a comfort factor to the rumours and innuendo that are out there,” he said.
Mr Markham expected the program to remain suspended until Main Roads and Mr Buswell were confident there was no risk to public health.
Capital Recycling has requested a meeting with the minister so it can present “facts and figures” and assure him the process was safe.
Mr Markham said it was an unfortunate situation that the progressive program had been halted.
“As far as the industry is concerned it’s a very unfortunate situation; we are years behind in WA on how we deal with recycling with a massive amount of material in C&D waste and all it’s doing is halting our progress in catching up to the rest of the country,” he said.