Professional Services

CDE Group looks to future for sustainability of industry

Sustainability CDE Group

CDE Group has a global reach. A provider of wet processing equipment and technology, its washing solutions are in place in a range of projects around the world.

The company has been around for more than 30 years, with one of its remits being to help reduce greenhouse emissions by diverting more than 100 million tonnes of construction, demolition and excavation (CD&E) waste away from landfills.

CDE’s Australasian regional manager, Daniel Webber, has been with the company for the past five years. He’s excited about where the industry is at as it continues to look for sustainable solutions that will put the industry in good stead for years to come.

“We have proven the success of our wet processing systems with a portfolio of over 2,000 successful projects installed globally,” said Webber. “In Australia, governments are amplifying the importance of sustainable construction and development; owners are seeking contractors with an environmental and social, and corporate governance – (ESG) centric approach; and contractors are seeking material suppliers with sustainably sourced products.

“There is vast potential for the Australian construction industry to create a future of sustainability, and CDE Group can help transform that potential into reality.”

Key to the Queensland-based company’s success is being one of the best wet processing technology provider for the quarrying and recycling industries. Its modular solutions can be quickly commissioned, deployed and constructed. 

Its series of products include wash plants, conveyors, dewatering screens and everything in between. It covers a range of different applications including waste recycling and wastewater management.

Read more: Greener lawn commissions wash plant for aggregate

CDE has helped Melbourne-based materials recycling company Repurpose It to make the most of its offering by suppling modular elements to the latter’s waste recycling wash plant. This site has reinvigorated the industry in Melbourne.

“Repurpose It is a company that’s investing to turn construction waste materials around to make the highest end products, which it can send straight back out the gate,” Webber said. “It’s a business that’s targeting large infrastructure projects, making long-lasting industry relationships, and making good stewardship of the materials that are coming in to maximise recovery.

“Our solution at Repurpose It incorporated several elements including an AggMax logwasher from the Infinity screening range, a ProGrade H2-60 screen, an EvoWash sand classification and dewatering system, conveyors, a decanter centrifuge and an AquaCycle thickener. Today, the plant processes up to 150 tonnes per hour of a single waste input.”

From 2017-2018, CD&E waste made up approximately 46 per of all waste generated in Victoria, according to Blue Environment’s Victorian Waste Flows report. This is more than six million tonnes, of which 2.7 million tonnes was landfilled. With the help of CDE machinery, Repurpose It is trying to reduce that number by turning waste into reusable material for a variety of industries. 

Webber sees these types of collaboration as a key ingredient to helping turn Australia’s circular economy into a reality. Repurposing old waste into new materials is one of CDE’s main objectives.

As with a lot of waste streams, some are more difficult to source separate than others. This is something that CDE can help with its range of products. 

“Concrete crushing and screening, for example, are very much commoditised, and there’s a lot of people out there doing it very well,” he said. “But when waste streams get a bit trickier – they might be contaminated with wood, plastics, chemicals or hydrocarbons – that’s when we come to the fore.

“We can still show a recycling route for that tricky material back into the circular economy, and that’s something we’re extremely proud of.”

CDE Group is one of the companies at the forefront of trying to make Australia’s National Waste Policy Action Plan to recover 80 per cent of all waste by 2030 a reality. 

As some natural resources start to diminish, or become too expensive to extract from their natural surrounds, it has become apparent that there is a good business case for recycled materials. 

Over the next decade, the CDE Group will continue to help tackles some of the more difficult waste streams, said Webber.

“A lot of the heavy fraction of CD&E waste is contaminated with masonry and low-strength materials, so we’re putting a big focus on rejecting that material and separating it out to enable the more recyclable materials to go back into full-strength aggregates,” he said. “There’s a lot of this kind of waste being handled in regional parts of Australia, so we endeavour to unlock those areas and deliver them the technology that can address contaminated materials.

“We want to see the generators of CD&E waste, such as Tier 1 and Tier 2 contractors drive the procurement of recycled materials; we want to foster the relationships between CD&E waste generators and CD&E waste recyclers where the benefits go both ways.

“We want to close the loop directly to enable waste generators to see their recyclable materials, that otherwise would have been put in landfill, to recycling companies that will take those materials in the gate and sell back the recycled products to be reused in future buildings and infrastructure.’ 

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