16/01/2008 - 22:00

Government grant for timber recycler

16/01/2008 - 22:00

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The state government has backed the development of a major new timber recycling centre designed to reduce the amount of industrial waste going into landfills.

The state government has backed the development of a major new timber recycling centre designed to reduce the amount of industrial waste going into landfills.

The timber recycling centre, which is the first of its kind in Western Australia, was established by the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) to recycle industrial timber waste into reusable woodchips.

Previously destined for landfill, the timber waste is being used in the manufacture of particleboard.

Emissions from timber and paper in landfills equate to 1.5 per cent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Australian Greenhouse Office.

EMRC executive manager Adam Johnson told WA Business News the timber recycling plant was initiated by the City of Swan, which secured an initial $40,000 state government grant.

Swan then handed the study over to the EMRC when it became clear more investigation needed to be undertaken.

Mr Johnson said the first study, based in Malaga, was a collaborative effort between EMRC and decorative surfaces manufacturer, the Laminex Group.

“We saw pretty quickly that this was something worthwhile,” he said.

“We put $20,000 of our own money into a second study to show the council it worked but we needed more money to take it to the next level.” Although the official launch date is scheduled for March 2008, the centre began operating in November 2007.

Mr Johnson said it had taken nearly three years to get the recycling centre to its current stage due to developers snatching up planners from local government “Planning is very difficult at the moment,” he said.

“It’s one of our challenges.” With storage currently an issue, Mr Johnson said the latest government grant would tackle the centre’s need for more space.

It is estimated between 10,000 and 15,000 tonnes of timber waste will be processed into woodchip in the first year.

The Laminex Group will purchase 80 per cent of the pale and pine timber woodchips from the recycling centre to make particleboard.

Other markets currently being developed by the EMRC include the use of recycled woodchips as surface mulch, compost and biofuel energy.

Mr Johnson said the EMRC is planning to expand the centre in Hazelmere into a resource recovery park, which would include different recycling facilities.

“The timber recycling plant is our pilot project and this year we are looking into expanding the area into an industrial recycling park,” he said.

Other recipients of state government grants include $53,000 to Westralia Airports Corporation to conduct a major waste audit at the Perth Airport estate, and $30,000 for a project to deliver recycled content road base for a section of the Perth to Bunbury highway.

The Hazelmere Timber Recycling Centre has received $297,025 for its expansion, as part of $800,000 in funding grants to local government, industry and community groups for waste reduction initiatives.

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