New facility recovers construction waste for reuse

29 March 2019

  Recycling facility

Repurpose It, a new state-of-the-art recycling plant in Epping is turning construction and building waste previously destined for landfill into reusable materials for civil and infrastructure building projects. The washing facility features advanced processing technology to target typically untreatable mixed and contaminated waste materials and will divert more than 500,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste from landfill and save more than 84,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

With more than 15 years’ experience in the construction industry, Repurpose It Founder and CEO, George Hatzimanolis, has seen firsthand the amount of waste that is produced from civil infrastructure projects. He knew it was possible to close the loop on construction and demolition materials – if the right technology was available.

“Working in asphalt surfacing, I realised that there was an opportunity to develop asphalt made from recycled materials.” Mr Hatzimanolis said. “That's where my vision to reduce the construction industry's reliance on extractive resources, and re-use existing resources was born.”

Repurpose It was the brainchild of George and his four business partners, who came together with a unique set of knowledge derived from complementary industries including logistics, road sweeping, construction and organic waste processing. From here, it was apparent that they shared a common vision to treat waste as a resource and to contribute to a circular economy.

“Victoria can move towards a circular economy if we begin to understand and adopt sustainable practices, whether it's within our households, business models or selecting suppliers,” said Mr Hatzimanolis. Sustainability Victoria has been thinking circular for a number of years and was able to support Repurpose It with a $500,000 grant through round one the Victorian Government’s Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund (RRIF) grant program to establish the new $8.5 million facility.

Reducing waste and creating jobs

The project has created 40 ongoing full time roles along with another 150 local jobs during the construction phase and to date, the company has hired more than a dozen employees from disadvantaged backgrounds, including refugees and asylum seekers, through a partnership with the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Given the Chance program. Partnerships that make a difference

Repurpose It have already taken more than 80,000 cubic metres worth of excavation spoil from major infrastructure projects including construction and demolition waste and rail ballast from level crossing removals in Melbourne’s North East.

The facility has also partnered with Victorian government projects including the Level Crossing Removal Authority, Metro Trains, North East Link, CityLink Widening and Western Distributor to integrate waste into road and rail infrastructure across the state.

More about the Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund.

Managed by Sustainability Victoria, the Victorian Government’s Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund (RRIF) grant program is valued at approximately $20.2 million and aims to support the development of infrastructure that improves the collection and processing of recycled materials.

Round 4 of the Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund is now open – with grants between $40,000 and $500,000 available. Applications are open until 30 April 2019.

For more information, view our Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund page.