Many building products can be recycled in Western Australia, some of which are listed below.
Remember that this list does not reflect the ease of recycling material on every job. It is important for you to investigate the opportunities available for recycling in your local area and consider opportunities for recycling specifically for your project.
Aluminium & metals:
Aluminium is 100 percent recyclable. Recycling aluminium reduces embodied energy by around 95 percent (Reardon C). Tin and other metals can be recycled too. Payments are sometimes made for metals by recyclers.
Recycling furnaces produce reinforcing bar, mesh and sections from steel scrap. Recycling steel reduces embodied energy by an estimated 72 percent (Reardon C). Currently in WA 93% of our recycled scrap metal is exported (Cardno BSD, 2007).
Bricks and tiles:
Can be re-used where appropriate or crushed on site or offsite for backfill, aggregate and gravel. Portable crushing plants can be used for large projects.
Set concrete can be crushed and recycled as aggregate for new concrete or road base and fill. Un-set concrete can be "washed" out at the plant to remove cement (Reardon C). Sand and stone can be re-used.
Most glass can be recycled, although construction glass must be separated from other glass such as drink bottles. Glass can be cut and re-used or recycled as aggregate for concrete. Recycling glass reduces embodied energy by 20 percent. Cardno BSD reported that since 2003, all recycled glass in Western Australia has been sent to South Australia for reprocessing. The recycler said glass can be up to 70% recycled material without any reduction in quality.
May be sorted and recycled or disposed of offsite. There are several waste service providers who will sort this waste.
Uncontaminated paper and cardboard materials can be recycled in Perth.
May be crushed for re-sale as a soil conditioner. At the time of writing, we are unaware of other recycling opportunities.
Many plastics can be granulated and re-used to make new plastic products and include:
- High Density Poly Ethylene (HDP): rubbish bins, buckets and traffic cones.
- Low Density Poly Ethylene (LDP): shrink wrap and bubble wrap
- Polystyrene: containers, insulation, UPVC pipes, fittings and flooring.
Can be stockpiled for reuse as fill.
Can be reclaimed, reused, or re-processed into flooring or horticultural mulch (where permitted under local regulations). It may be easier to reuse jarrah than reprocess it at present.
See our publications section to download a free Waste Management Guide.