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'Tipping point' reached for C&D recycling?

Victorian construction & demolition and commercial & industrial waste recyclers, the Waste Converters, believe that the Victorian waste levy has reached an economic tipping point – citing a sudden boom in commercial recycling.

Ward Petherbridge, managing director of the Waste Converters said that since the Victorian waste levy had increased from $30 per tonne to $44 per tonne on July 1 the businesses’ turnover had increased by 25%.

“The difference in the price between putting it in a skip bin and taking it to the tip and getting a specialist recycling service [is growing],” he said, telling BEN Waste that the companies he had approached ten years ago were now beginning to separate their C&I waste for recycling.

“In the past they wouldn’t have bothered because it would have been easier for them to chuck it all in a skip bin – I really believe that a tipping point has been reached with the $14 increase.”

BEN Waste also reported yesterday that major NSW C&D recyclers Benedict had also reported an “enormous” increase in the volume of C&D material coming through their NSW Chipping North facility.

Petherbridge also said that there was also strong demand for the products produced from the commercial recycling undertaken by the Waste Converters. “Every stick of timber for the next two years has already been sold,” he said, naming his major customers as the Melbourne desalination plant and the Eastlink Freeway project.

As well as the indirect benefits of increased business, Petherbridge also said that the Waste Converters had received direct support via grants from Sustainability Victoria funded by the levy.

“The Waste Converters have received around $300,000 worth of grants from Sustainability Victoria over the last several years,” he said, elaborating that much of the money had gone towards the company’s pallet reuse and recycling business.

Petherbridge said that the Waste Converters turned over approximately 50,000 tonnes of waste material a year of which 36,000 tonnes was C&I and C&D, 4,000 tonnes was green waste and 10,000 tonnes was timber waste.

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