What happens to your rubbish?

At Zoom Skips we are often asked about what happens to customers’ rubbish. John Romano has some answers and insights.

What happens to my rubbish?
When the skip leaves your property, it’s taken back to our depot at Hindmarsh, where it is loaded onto a truck and delivered to the SITA-ResourceCo recycling plant, at Wingfield

What does ResourceCo do?
They specialise in the processing of Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste materials, consisting of asphalt, concrete, bricks and rubble. This waste is then used to manufacture a range of recycled aggregates and recycled asphalt products.

Recycling C&D material provides a diversion of waste from landfills. It also conserves resources by extending the life of quarries, and offering a full lifecycle of material/s from demolition through to re-supply to site for construction carbon benefits.

How does the rubbish get sorted?
The waste product is put on a mound ready to be sorted. It’s placed into a hopper and the material is then sorted via a series of conveyor belts, 32 in total, separating all the waste into combustible and non-combustible materials

The ferrous and non-ferrous metals, inert fractions (bricks, concrete etc) and non-recyclables are removed.

All combustible material is broken down until it becomes Processed Engineered Fuel (PEF). This product looks like the material you’d see in a vacuum cleaner. This is then sold to companies such as Adelaide Brighton Cement, to fire up their cement kilns.

What is the recycled product used for?
The PEF material is first used for heating and drying cement. The end ash is recycled into fly ash, which is used in the production of cement.

All salvaged metals are then shipped to specialist external companies for sorting and recycling. The inert fractions are recycled and resupplied to the civil construction market as an alternative to traditional quarried products.

Other waste streams accepted are asphalt, concrete and masonry, which are recycled into rubbles and road base materials, and Clean, Wet and Mixed Fill.

John Romano recently had a tour of the ResourceCo recycling plant. He recalls  the most impressive aspect.
No-one handles the rubbish. It’s dumped on the ground, picked up by a mechanical excavator, and placed in a hopper. More people are used to maintain the plant than handle the rubbish. The other thing that impressed me was the amount of rubbish in a year. Up to 350,000 tonnes per annum, which begs the question of how much rubbish we produce.

What is green or wet waste?
Green or wet waste, typically refers to organic waste, for example, food leftovers or garden clippings and is heavy in weight due to dampness.

What happens to wet waste?
We send our wet waste to Integrated Waste Services (IWS) and they process the waste as per standard procedures across the industry. Initially the waste is let sit for a couple of days. It is then in a slightly rotted state and can be compacted, after which it is put into landfill.

How can I help the environment and save costs?
It is up to each individual to do their part. By being aware of what happens to each type of your rubbish, you can make more informed decisions. You can recycle at home, which also saves the cost of hiring a skip.

Zoom Skips is committed to recycling. John explains why.
It is important to me because it keeps the environment cleaner, fewer trees are cut down and it’s cheaper to recycle metal, plastics etc., than digging ore out of the ground. It’s also energy efficient.

We are very proud that less than 5% of our waste goes into landfill. That means a massive 95% is recycled.

Have you received feedback from customers about this? Is this important to your customers?
About 25% of my customers ask  “what happens to their rubbish?” and are pleasantly surprised that it gets recycled. I would love to see more customers recycle some of their better items, such as bicycles, appliances and furniture, before calling me. Gone are the days of hand me downs. Everyone wants new, hence more waste.

Can you give us an example for a standard skip?
On a 4 cubic metre skip, with 500 kilos of waste, less than 25 kilos goes to landfill, and in most cases  all is recycled.

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