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Wood waste recycling enabled by Bin Trim With financial assistance from a NSW EPA

As a business that offers recycling

PCA and RTG contacted the NSW EPA

Bin Trim rebate, co-owned businesses

infrastructure solutions for manufacturers,

Bin Trim program to see if it could help

Pallet Collars Australia (PCA) and

RTG understood the opportunities of creating

cover the cost of purchasing the required

Recycling Technologies Group (RTG)

a higher value for that wood waste — in

equipment to transform wood waste into

have been able to implement an innovative

this case, recovering wood waste, such

heater pellets. The program enables eligible

and profitable wood waste solution for

as sawdust, shavings and wood offcuts,

small and medium-sized businesses to

themselves and a neighbouring sawmill.

and creating heater pellets for domestic

access a free waste assessment and a

Based in Eden, Bega Valley, PCA

pellet heaters. By using recovered wood

rebate from $1000 up to $50,000 to help

manufactures and supplies thousands

waste, there is the additional environmental

with purchasing recycling equipment.

of wooden packaging solutions every

benefit of not using raw forest materials.

PCA and RTG were given a rebate of

year. The production of this quantity

Pellet heaters look similar to other

$12,904, lowering their capital investment

of packaging creates a large amount

domestic combustion heaters. However,

cost to purchase the new recycling equipment

of wood waste — 2.5 tonnes per month

rather than burning logs of wood, they

and therefore increasing the financial

on average. PCA and RTG also knew

create heat by burning small wood pellets.

viability of the enterprise. The equipment

that wood waste was being burnt by

Wood pellets burn efficiently because of

enables PCA and RTG to take their wood

a neighbouring sawmill as a means of

their density and dryness.

waste, along with large quantities of

disposal.

the wood waste from the neighbouring sawmill, and turn it into high-energy, 6 x 30 mm pellets for household heating. PCA and RTG are now recovering 90% of their wood waste, reducing their waste disposal costs significantly. They are also recovering up to 3 tonnes a week of the neighbouring sawmill wood waste, greatly reducing the amount of wood that the mill needs to burn as a means of disposal. In total, PCA and RTG are now recovering approximately 180 tonnes of wood waste per year. “It’s part of our business to make waste into resources, so we knew the potential of re-using the large amount of wood waste in this way to produce a really useful product,” said Kari Esplin, director of PCA and RTG. “What the Bin Trim Rebates Program does is it takes a solution that will work and will provide a return, and it adds a level of security to its future.” Furthermore, the project has enabled PCA and RTG to diversify their business and demonstrate a re-use solution that can be replicated in almost any facility that has a similar wood waste problem in Australia. RTG has also used its own wood waste recovery model to sell pellet production plants to other businesses with similar wood waste problems. “Manufacturers commonly consider waste as waste, but actually it can be a valuable resource,” said Tony Esplin, owner of PCA and RTG. “Businesses just need to know how to use that resource.” NSW Environment Protection Authority www.epa.nsw.gov.au

20 Sustainability Matters - Feb/Mar 2017

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Sustainability Matters Feb/Mar 2017  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...

Sustainability Matters Feb/Mar 2017  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...