Cleanaway Place their Trust in Mobile Recycling Solutions from EDGE Innovate

Companies have to adapt and innovate or they’re going nowhere, and that’s critical to the way we work. It’s all about trying new things and thinking outside the box. I’m dedicated to building an innovative and forward-thinking culture. Those are the sentiments of Karl David, Cleanaway Regional Manager, at a recent ribbon cutting ceremony at Cleanaway’s Brooklyn Resource Recovery Centre.

The opening of the new mobile recycling manufactured by EDGE Innovate is just one component of a high-level strategy to increase the company’s sustainable footprint. 

As the first step in a state-wide revamp of Cleanaway’s Victorian operations, David and his team recently invested in an EDGE Innovate designed mobile recycling plant, with the goal of transforming the company’s Brooklyn Resource Recovery Centre into a resource recovery powerhouse.

“With landfill levies rising, we recognised the need to adapt to market requirements,” David says.  “We went through and identified that there was real potential to recover more from our transfer stations and really invest in increasing our recovery of materials that would otherwise go into landfill. “We’ve been through a journey to review that and identified sites such as Brooklyn, where we could start recycling significantly to avoid landfill and improve our business going forward.” 

The EDGE Innovate plant, which was installed by FOCUS Enviro in late January, draws on two similar installations at Cleanaway’s New Chum Landfill in Ipswich and Willawong Recycling and Transfer Station in Brisbane. 

“We were researching what the right equipment would be for our application and material profile, and our sites in Queensland had a pre-existing relationship with FOCUS,” David says.  “We leveraged that relationship to learn from them and understand how we could adapt the set-up to our local market conditions because we knew it worked”.

High Powered

The plant features six pieces of high-powered equipment including an EDGE TRT622 trommel screen, a Slayer XL shredder and 4 bay picking station, which work in harmony to ensure effective processing at each downstream stage. 

After initial pre-picking to remove visible items such as large slabs of concrete and metal, the material is pushed into the shredder. In addition to standard shredding, the machine features a heavy-duty magnet that removes metals for later recovery. The material then moves through a trommel that separates soils and fines for classification and disposal.

The remaining material – anything larger than 20 millimetres – is sent to the picking station via a TS-Series EDGE stacker conveyer system. At the picking station light materials such as plastics and cardboard are separated, with heavier materials including metal, concrete, brick and timbre dropped into under-side bins. 

The entire system barring the picking station is tracked. This provides added flexibility, David says, allowing Cleanaway to adapt and adjust processes to meet changing needs and waste profiles.  He adds that the plant has been performing better than expected. “We’re identifying a lot more recycling than we had anticipated and are recovering tiny pieces of metal that we never would have found in the past,” David says. “It opens our eyes up to the opportunities – that’s what’s exciting. I come up here and I’m excited, and more importantly, our operators are really excited to be a part of it.” 

Recovered cardboard is sent to be baled and sold, with timber ground into wood chips for public space applications and concrete processed into road making materials. Recovered metals will be recycled though Cleanaway’s partnership with Sims Metal Management. David adds that the lightweight materials separated at the picking station could be used as waste-to-energy feedstock in the future, an avenue that Cleanaway is actively pursuing. 

Positioning Partnerships  

Looking forward, David says Cleanaway is motivated to continue working in collaboration with FOCUS Enviro and EDGE Innovate to develop new recovery solutions.

“We’ll be looking at how we can learn from EDGE Innovate and FOCUS Enviro’s experience overseas and what processes, equipment and capabilities we can bring into this market,” he says.  

“There is a lot of momentum, and one of the advantages for us is that as such a broad business we can largely feed ourselves, but every site is different, so it’s about attracting the right customers to the right location.” 

The Brooklyn facility is now a Green Star site, David adds, highlighting Cleanaway’s goal of contributing to market transformation and a sustainable economy.