In 2018-19 over 85% of household bulky waste disposed of via council clean-up services in NSW was landfilled. However, there is limited understanding of the true impact of this waste stream in terms of the amount of landfill space that it occupies, or the associated economic, social and environmental costs to Councils and the wider community. To date, these have not been properly understood.
As the bodies responsible for collection and management o household bulky waste, Councils can play a critical role as change makers in achieving improvements in service delivery, collection models, and increased reuse, recycling and recovery of resources in the move towards a circular economy. The findings and recommendations of this project provide ISJO Councils with feasible and practical solutions for the improved management of household bulky waste, including measures that will support, grow and develop new networks and enterprises that reduce disposal to landfill and educate the public about better choices.
A trial was undertaken with Shoalhaven City Council to see how long it would take to accumulate 300 lounges and then to assess the best way to break them down and divert them from the landfill stream. The lounges were either brought in by residents to one of 3 facilities or collected through the booked green and bulky collection.
The 300 lounges were collected over just a 3 week period with no advertising.
Processing the lounges with a shredder and then compaction meant that the 300m3 of lounges were converted into 19m3 which allowed the lounges to be transported and diverted from landfill by converting them into an engineered fuel alternative.
The trial showed that there are great opportuities for bulky waste diversion from landfill. Through future work we hope to explore innovative solutions to other problem wastes.
Turning waste into a process engineered fuel at the Resource Co facility, Weatherill Park.