Specialised materials handling excavator helps reduce landfill

The materials handling excavator in actionThe materials handling excavator in action

Central Coast Council is continuing to implement innovative methods to reduce the amount of waste directed to landfill, with the recent purchase of a specialised, materials handling, excavator.

Sorting through household kerbside collection waste at Buttonderry Waste Management Facility, the excavator is recovering scrap metal, mattresses and other recyclable products that would otherwise be directed to landfill. Council Waste Services Unit Manager, Mr Andrew Pearce, said that since it started operating in September, a number of environmental, social and economic benefits had been realised. “In the first five months of operation, the excavator has successfully recovered more than 1,000 tonnes of scrap metal and 1,400 mattresses,” Mr Pearce said.

“The mattresses are shredded to both recover the metal and to achieve improved compaction in the landfill, until such time as we can find a market for this material. “From this we are able to gain additional economic benefits from the sale of scrap metal, saving of valuable landfill space, as well as a refund of the Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) waste levy.” The purchase of the excavator was made possible through a $200,000 grant from the EPA’s Resource Recovery Facility Expansion and Enhancement Grants Program. Mr Pearce said he was hopeful that Council would be successful in obtaining further grants under the EPA’s, Waste Less Recycle More, program. “We have since conducted further trials on construction, demolition, commercial and industrial waste at our Buttonderry Waste Management Facility,” Mr Pearce said. “These trials have recovered approximately 50 tonnes of cardboard, soft plastic, untreated timber and hard plastic. “We are currently analysing the results of the latest trial to inform future business decisions and identify new markets for recoverable products.”

Source: Media release, Mar 8 Central Coast Council media