Australia to build ‘flagship’ C&D waste recycling plant

Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has pledged AUS$75 million in debt finance towards the development of what is said will be “Queensland’s flagship construction and demolition (C&D) recycling facility”.

Rhino Reycling facility (PHOTO: CEFC)

According to the government-owned green bank, the new $89 million integrated plant will help to boost the country’s recycling sector and expand its onshore waste management capabilities.

Plans for the recycling plant will see it process more than one million tonnes of C&D waste every year, making it one of the largest capacity facilities of its kind in Australia.

Featuring the latest recycling technology from Ireland-based Turmec and Northern Ireland company CDE Global, it will handle concrete, excavation material, vacuum waste and skip bin waste, diverting a significant amount of valuable resources from landfill.

With a recovery rate of more than 90 per cent, the plant “will produce higher quality recycled products for re-use”, says CEFC, and over 55,000 t in CO2-e savings annually,

Daniel Blaser, Rino Recycling General Manager, added, “The design philosophy behind this state-of-the-art facility is to not only deliver world leading recovery rates, but to create the highest quality outputs as value-add products to the building, construction and manufacturing industries.

“What is unique about this plant is that it is fully automated and able to handle many and various waste streams through the plant efficiently, separating the products effectively and creating valuable outputs without the need to rehandle or reprocess.”

The facility will be located in Pinkenba, close to Brisbane Airport, and will be operated by Rino Recycling.

Todd Pepper, Director at Rino Recycling, said: “Brisbane is expected to continue the trend in significant population growth over the next 20 years, in addition to the construction requirements of the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games.

“The city has a significant pipeline of infrastructure development, including expansion of the Brisbane Airport and the development of the Brisbane city region in the SEQ ‘City deal’”.

Referencing Australia’s National Waste Report 2022, CEFC says that 29 million tonnes of waste came from the C&D sector last year. This amounted to 38% of all waste generated in Australia, a significant proportion of which was sent to landfill.

Mac Irvine, CEFC Industrials, said: “This project marks a significant development for Australia’s circular economy and for recycling in Queensland. Output products like recycled aggregates, road bases and sands/soils can be used in place of virgin products to create opportunities for lower embodied carbon content in construction projects.

“As we look to deliver a net zero emissions economy by 2050, we need to cut emissions wherever they occur, from the way we build to the way we recycle.

“This facility demonstrates how to unlock the untapped value of what is considered ‘waste’ to deliver a more sustainable low-emissions built environment.”

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