14/12/2011 - 10:09

Capital’s recycled road

14/12/2011 - 10:09

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Capital’s recycled road

BAYSWATER company Capital Recycling has hailed the awarding of a Main Roads contract as a huge breakthrough for the recycling industry.

The contract involves the use of recycled building and construction materials in the widening of Great Eastern Highway.

Capital won contracts to demolish most of the buildings along the highway, process and crush the material, and supply it as a sub-base for the highway construction.

Director Ray Gullotto said he has been pursuing this type of opportunity since entering the industry 15 years ago.

“It’s a huge stepping stone,” Mr Gullotto told WA Business News.

“It opens the door for us and the whole industry.”

Mr Gullotto said similar recycling of building and construction material had been occurring in other states and countries for a number of years, and he had seen this type of recycling put into practice in Japan 11 years ago.

Some regional councils had pursued this opportunity in Western Australia, but there was little momentum.

“Unless Main Roads gives it the tick of approval, no-one else really wants to do it,” Mr Gullotto said. 

“This project gets us to the point.”

The Great Eastern Highway project involves the widening of a 4.2-kilometre section between the city and the airport.

It will require the collection of more than 200,000 tonnes of demolition waste, most of which will be diverted from landfill.

This type of contract will help WA lift the recycling rate of construction and demolition waste from 14 per cent to levels more in line with other states, which is more than 50 per cent.

Waste Authority deputy chairman Marcus Geisler said that, throughout most of Europe, new roads must include up to 50 per cent recycled material.

“It is fantastic to see this innovative local company doing its bit to reduce the environmental impact of this very important project,” he said.

The awarding of the Capital Recycling contract followed performance testing undertaken by Curtin University, which found that the strength of recycled road base was in many areas superior to that of newly quarried road base.

In addition, life-cycle assessments by RMIT University in Melbourne found that recycled crushed concrete products have a carbon footprint that is 65 per cent less than equivalent products made from quarried material.

Mr Gullotto said his recycling plant was only 4km from most of the demolition work, so the environmental and economic cost of transporting the material was minimal.

“We were able to do the whole project from start to finish,” he said.

City East Alliance – comprising Main Roads, Leighton Contractors, GHD and NRW – is project managing the overall highway-widening project.

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