Kwinana: Construction rubble to be recycled into roads under State Government plan

Waste Authority Chairman Marcus Geisler, Environment Minister Stephen Dawson and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti. Picture: Gabrielle Jeffery.
Waste Authority Chairman Marcus Geisler, Environment Minister Stephen Dawson and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti. Picture: Gabrielle Jeffery.

BUILDING rubble will now be recycled for use as road base in the Kwinana Freeway Northbound Widening Project.

The initiative was announced today by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti and Environment Minister Stephen Dawson at Waste Stream Management facility in Kwinana, where the waste will be recycled.

The freeway works will be the pilot for the program and if all goes well, recycled waste is expected to be used for many future major civil construction projects.

About 25,000 tonnes will be used for the works.

The pilot, dubbed ‘Roads to Re-Use’ is the first of its kind and is aimed at significantly boosting WA’s poor recycling levels.

It works by employing a testing scheme that involves rigorous testing for quality control, including meeting strict standards to ensure it is not contaminated with any toxic building waste such as asbestos.

An independent audit testing scheme will give extra assurance that the recycled construction and demolition products are fit for purpose.

Main Roads, the Waste Authority and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) will work together in a push to increase usage of the recycled waste.

Findings from the pilot will be released later this year as part of the State Government’s Waste Strategy 2030.

Mr Dawson said Main Roads had previously avoided using recycled material due to high levels of plastic contamination and a lack of quality assurance.

He also said the recycled material was a cheaper alternative and would create more employment than was required for sourcing new material.

“It will demonstrate to local governments and industry that recycled content is usable and value for money, redressing the concerns from many years ago that effectively stopped any reuse of valuable construction and demolition materials,” he said.

“This partnership between DWER, the Waste Authority and Main Roads is a huge step forward for the reduction of construction and demolition waste in Western Australia.

Ms Saffioti said it was an exciting venture that held great promise.

“Roads to Reuse establishes a strict testing regime to reduce the risk of contaminants to below allowable limits – protecting people and the environment,” she said.

“This interagency partnership is key to ensuring the ongoing use of recycled material in Western Australia.”

For information on Roads to Reuse, visit the Waste Authority’s website.