Citywide has unveiled a glass recycling plant capable of cleaning glass from co-mingled bins and contaminated material that can’t be processed by other plants.
In addition to diverting waste from landfill, the plant will produce up to 400 tonnes of high-value sand replacement products each week, which can be used for everything from cement production and sandblasting to asphalt for roads and pavements. It will also naturally reduce the construction industry’s voracious appetite for virgin sand.
The new glass plant builds on a trial that has been operating at Citywide’s Resource Recovery and Waste Transfer Station in West Melbourne since the start of this year, thanks to a development grant from the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund. The new plant is due to start operating at full capacity in March 2022.
Citywide Operations Executive Duncan Reid said the glass plant will become one of many circular economy projects at our West Melbourne site, which is evolving as an innovation hub for emerging technologies that utilise waste as a valuable resource.
“Along with our e-waste, cardboard, street-sweeping and other recycling operations, plus the energy-from-waste project due to come online in early 2025, the new glass plant will form a substantial part of the Innovation Hub we are developing at West Melbourne,” Mr Reid said.
“Our investment in the circular economy is consistent with our Waste and Recycling Strategy and is about doing everything we can to not only stop wasting valuable existing products but also protecting precious natural resources.”
Citywide’s Sustainability Manager, Claire Bright, said the new plant would be able to recycle “challenging” glass loads that could not be treated by other plants due to their small particle size or contamination with plastics or paper.
“A lot of plants can only process glass particles over a certain size, so they wind up with a lot of material that’s too small to go through their machines,” Ms Bright said.