We dispose of 7,500 tonnes of road sweepings and street drain waste to landfill in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington every year. That’s a lot of waste going to landfill and we knew there had to be a better way of doing this, not just for Civic but also throughout the waste collection and cleaning sectors nationwide.
We believed that 50-85% of this material could be diverted from landfill and repurposed or recycled. So we’ve come up with a solution. In Hamilton, where the majority of our road sweeping and drain cleaning waste originates, we have invested in innovative waste-sorting equipment that will divert all material that it can and have just completed a trial with it.
The machine, which is the only one of its kind in New Zealand, screens, washes and separates all road waste into five separate materials: water, which is reused in the recycling process; sand and grit, which is repurposed as clean fill; chip and stone that is larger than 5mm, which can also be repurposed as clean fill; organic matter, which is sent for composting; and residual waste, which is sludge that has to be disposed to landfill.
In just the first month of using our waste-sorting system, we achieved an 84% diversion rate, which is what we hoped for. We:
- Processed 95 tonnes of road and drain waste
- Repurposed 35 tonnes of sand and grit
- Repurposed 35 tonnes of stone and chip
- Diverted 10 tonnes of water from landfill
- Collected around 15 tonnes of sludge, which settles in large collection water tanks, before we extract it and take it to landfill.
In the Waikato region, we collect 3,500-4,000 tonnes of this sort of waste per year. That’s a lot of waste that will now never go to landfill, creating a circular, closed loop solution that is more environmentally friendly. This technology also affects the bottom line, as our waste disposal fees will be far lower and we can pass that on to our customers.
This is just the beginning of our reinvention of waste sorting. We hope to be able to roll this innovation out in other areas eventually, and we are now looking at how we can revolutionise our other waste streams. If you’d like to chat about your waste collection services, get in touch and we’ll be happy to talk you through the options.