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Northern Ireland expertise helps crush construction waste targets

As Australia continues to build for the future, the construction and demolition sector is stepping up to deal with the issue of waste and is using expertise from Northern Ireland to help.

In Australia, the construction and demolition industry generates almost three tonnes of waste per-capita[1] and spends some $2 billion on collection, treatment and disposal[2]. As population growth and urbanisation drive further construction, this is expected to increase, so there is an urgent need to find recycling solutions to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

One recent success story is the opening of Rino Recycling’s world-first facility that can sort and process many types of both wet and dry waste under one roof. The Pinkenba facility can process 1.5 million tonnes of mixed construction waste a year, producing a range of high-quality recycled materials for use back on construction sites, including aggregates, road base, and washed sand, effectively minimising the need for landfill.

To design the facility, Rino brought together the best engineers in the world including Northern Ireland company CDE, a leading provider of wet processing solutions. CDE delivered the plant’s HydroVac and wet waste retrieval system along with aggregate scrubbing, beneficiation, and sand washing. It also provided a water recovery and recycling system which recycles over 90 per cent of the plant’s water needs.

Image: Invest NI

CDE works with companies around the world, helping them to divert millions of tonnes of material from landfill and minimise their environmental impact. It is one of many Northern Ireland companies whose expertise in waste recycling and materials handling has brought them international success and made Northern Ireland a recognised centre of excellence in the design and manufacture of materials handling equipment.

Northern Ireland innovation
Despite its small size, Northern Ireland produces around 40 per cent of the world’s tracked mobile crushing and screening equipment and has a track record for technological development of environmentally friendly mining and recycling machinery.

Around the world, Northern Ireland companies are playing an important role in helping organisations meet their waste recycling targets. Terex is a global force working across several sectors. Its Evoquip machines are used onsite to crush and screen the waste from demolition projects while its Finlay crushers have a strong presence in Australia, being the equipment of choice for Clay & Mineral in Adelaide and Nitro Crushing in Queensland.

Across aggregates, mining and recycling, the name Powerscreen is well known internationally. The company’s tracked mobile crushing and screening equipment processes recycle raw materials into secondary materials derived from used concretes, asphalt, china clay waste and construction and demolition waste. Its machines have been used across Australia from glass crushing in one of the country’s largest recycling centres to supporting a major road construction project.

Edge Innovate is another company that has made a name in markets from North America to Australia and the Middle East. Its product portfolio includes a range of mobile stockpilers, tracked stackers, tracked and mobile feeders, trommels, slow speed waste shredders, and picking stations, allowing customers to shred, screen, separate, stockpile and size a vast array of materials. Edge machines are helping New South Wales’ organisations Veolia and Clean & Green Recycling, among others, to process green and organic waste.

Image: Invest NI

Another international success is Smiley Monroe, a conveyor belt specialist working across multiple sectors – construction and demolition, recycling and waste management, quarrying, mining, washing systems, agricultural, environmental, conveyor fabricators, road construction and port material handling.

How world-class technologies from Northern Ireland can help your business
These companies and many others that make up Northern Ireland’s unique cluster of materials handling solution providers benefit from having a local supply chain and support from government and academia, particularly from Invest Northern Ireland, the region’s economic development agency. This enables them to undertake cutting-edge research and development to ensure that their products remain premium offerings within the industry and to develop their presence in export markets around the world.

“Invest NI supports companies from Northern Ireland to innovate, grow, and compete internationally while also supporting inward investors that are attracted to set up in Northern Ireland because of our excellent skills base and competitive business environment,” said Sydney-based Richard Ennis, Invest Northern Ireland’s Regional Director, Australia and New Zealand.

“Construction and demolition waste has been recognised as a key issue by Australia’s government and there is a drive to increase recycling rates. I believe that Australia can benefit from using the technology developed in Northern Ireland to increase waste recycling levels within the construction and demolition sector and more widely. Many Australian organisations and companies, such as Rino Recycling, have already recognised this, and many more around the world consider Northern Ireland companies to be trusted business partners.

Image: Invest NI

“We can help Australian companies to find the right product or service and connect them with Northern Ireland’s world-class suppliers through direct introductions, meet the buyer events, trade shows and exhibitions. I would encourage companies to contact Invest NI’s Sydney office and find out what we can do to help.”

Find out more about how Northern Ireland’s materials handling expertise and equipment can help your business contribute to achieving a circular economy in Australia. Contact



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