Circular economy and resource recovery
We consider all products and materials as valuable, and finite, resources. Our staff are consistently looking at ways to achieve the greatest benefits in terms of resource recovery, sustainable management and the development of a waste avoidance culture.
We use innovative resource recovery processes to reframe what used to be considered a problem, into an opportunity.
Our Circular Economy Plan sets our pathway for waste management and resource recovery over the next five years. It promotes source separation, reuse and the recirculation of resources to relieve pressure on virgin materials. In 2020, our No Opportunity Wasted program was awarded the Banksia overall Gold and Large Business award for achievements in resource recovery, describing eight resource recovery initiatives, some of which are outlined below.
Agri-Ash (reusing biosolids)
Agri-Ash is a sterile by-product of the wastewater treatment process, which is used as a soil conditioner for agricultural purposes. Our treatment plant produces virtually no solid waste products because they are all recycled into Agri-Ash. We churn out around 16 tonnes of it a day.
Our sophisticated and holistic treatment process is of particular interest to other countries and communities who are also located inland and have limited waste disposal options.
Waste Reduction and Recycling
We collaborate with local businesses, and the water industry, to continue growing our resource recovery capacity. Some of the changes we've already made include:
- Finding different options to beneficially reuse our solids and end products, such as via composting.
- Developing processes and infrastructure which allow us to reuse previously unusable soil and slurry from excavations.
- Using recovered glass sand in the installation of new pipe assets, which reduces the need for virgin sand.
- Placing recycling hubs within our offices to reduce waste going to landfill. The products can either be recycled, reused, composted or returned to the container deposit scheme where they generate charity funds.
- Recycling waste toner cartridges while maximising the safe disposal, and reuse, of end-of-life electronic equipment.
- Provided a battery collection point so staff can safely dispose of consumer batteries from home. This reduces toxic chemicals in the domestic rubbish of our employees.