Recently the team at Planet Ark was lucky enough to be taken on an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of BINGO Industries’ world-class Recycling Ecology Park in Western Sydney. The tour included a preview of its new Material Processing Centre (MPC) 2, due for completion by the end of 2020.
Located in Eastern Creek’s industrial region, the Recycling Ecology Park is a large-scale recycling facility that processes waste from the Construction and Demolition (C&D) and Commercial and Industrial (C&I) sectors. With a licence to process up to two million tonnes of waste each year, it is BINGO’s crowning achievement thus far and reinforces the waste management company as a leader in the Australian circular economy.
Covering 82 hectares of land, the scale of the park is remarkable. It includes two Material Processing Centres (the second in development), a timber processing yard, a crushing and blending area for heavy materials such as roadbase and aggregates, and a landfill for waste that cannot be recovered such as asbestos. In line with BINGO’s commitment to sustainability, the park will eventually operate 100% from renewable energy including large-scale solar PV rooftop systems.
Despite the size of the park, we were able to explore its hub on foot, beginning with the highly anticipated MPC2. While the facility has yet to begin processing waste, the bulk of its shiny yellow machinery is in place. From a viewing platform above, we were able to view the high-tech machinery up-close and look down onto the series of conveyor belts which will soon be sorting up to 7,000 tonnes of materials each day.
Over $70 million has been invested into MPC2 to ensure its advanced sorting technology will be able to process all forms of C&D and C&I waste, recovering materials such as ferrous and non-ferrous metals, timber, brick, rubble and concrete to be repurposed into new products. Its highly automated recycling process will not only maximise recovery and product quality, but also considerably broaden BINGO’s range of processed end products.
Using vibrating screens, ballistic separators, magnets and optical sorting equipment, BINGO anticipates the facility will be able to recover up to 90% of the materials it processes. This industry-leading recovery rate will mean only a small fraction of overall waste will be sent to the onsite landfill or used as an alternative fuel source. The vast majority of materials will be repurposed into new landscaping and building products such as aggregate, roadbase and mulch, extracting maximum value out of the resources by keeping them in circulation for as long as possible.
These products are already being processed at the park’s first Material Processing Centre, located a short walk from MPC2. A steady stream of trucks come and go through the bustling facility, transporting a varied mix of materials from scrap metal from construction sites to the waste you’d find in a commercial bin. Once these materials have been separated and sorted, the recovered resources are recycled into the Eco Product range and sold to building and infrastructure companies, landscaping businesses, councils and the general public. Many companies are purchasing resources created from the waste they originally generated in a newly adapted form – an excellent example of circular economy principles in practice.
This type of circular thinking is integral to transitioning Australia to a circular economy. The National Waste Report, released by the Department of Environment and Energy in 2018, revealed three-quarters of our waste is generated by the C&D and C&I sectors, with 40% of this waste ending up in landfill. In order to drastically increase recovery rates and divert unnecessary waste to landfill, large-scale recycling facilities that can process great quantities of C&D and C&I waste are essential.
With a shared vision for a waste-free Australia, BINGO Industries and Planet Ark have been working in partnership since 2011 to increase resource recovery in Australia. Planet Ark is proud to see its partner drive change in Australia’s waste industry, with a focus on transitioning to a circular economy, through progressive and pioneering practices.