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Garbage! You could be driving on it

By Northern Beaches Council
Posted: 2 Nov 2020
Northern Beaches Council is trialling a novel waste recycling solution that transforms materials collected from beaches and streets into sustainable road surfacing material, dramatically reducing waste going to landfill and slashing dumping costs.

In a year to June 2020, Council’s recycling partner Downer has collected and processed 1,137 tonnes of street sweeping and beach waste material, and diverted over 95 per cent from landfill, to be reused for sustainable road construction and other activities.

Materials from Council’s street sweeping and beach raking services are collected and transported to Downer’s Rosehill Detritus Facility, part of Downer’s ‘Reconomy’ business, and sorted to filter sand, aggregates, organic matter and metals.

Sand and gravel obtained from this process are used as part of the asphalt to be used on the road networks from where the material originated.

This process is claimed to be capable of recycling up to 95 per cent of incoming material stream.

Mayor Michael Regan said finding new ways to recycle and reuse garbage means we can reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill, creates useful products and saves money.

“It’s a triple-win. By taking tonnes of waste materials from our beaches and streets and using it to create roads, we are able to turn trash into valuable infrastructure.”

“As well as environmental sense it also makes economic sense, as Council has saved nearly $83,000 on landfill disposal costs during the 12-month trial.”

“This is another way we are showing local leadership on waste and resource recycling initiatives, while helping to economise on our average $7.4 million a year state government waste levies.”

According to Downer, the waste material collected from the Council area has resulted in approximately five kilometres of road made with transformed asphalt.

Downer’s General Manager, Reconomy, Jim Appleby, said: “It’s all about pulling products, not pushing waste. It makes good sense for Council and great sense for the environment.”

 
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