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City of Bunbury reclaims waste with JCB

The Bunbury-Harvey Regional Council in WA has turned to JCB for help in executing a project aimed at diverting compostable waste away from landfill for fertiliser production.

City of Bunbury has selected a JCB 436 HT Wheel Loader to process more than 200 tonnes of organic waste per week.

The JCB loader is used to place new loads onto the compost windrows and turn the loads every fortnight. The loader is at work full time in the operation.

Bunbury-Harvey Regional Council CEO Tony Battersby says the project was launched six months ago with the rollout of 140L and 240L Organic Recyclables bins to ratepayers.

He adds before the project, up to 60 per cent of material sent to landfill was made up of compostable material.

“Our latest audit found 15.8 per cent food waste in bins and just 5.63 garden waste, so that is a dramatic improvement,” he says.

“So far we’ve improved our overall landfill diversion rate to 66 per cent – that means 66 per cent of waste that would otherwise have gone to landfill is now being recycled.”

Under Western Australia’s new Waste Strategy Policy, launched in March 2012, major regional centres are committed to recovering 30 per cent of solid waste by 2015, and 50 per cent by 2020.

So far, the project is already achieving excellent results.

“We’ve collected over 5,500 tonnes of compostable waste over the six months since the project started,” Battersby says.

The waste is processed into fertiliser at a facility in Dardanup WA which features a composting pad and leachate pond.

Battersby says the JCB wheel loader was selected because of the brand reputation and the value for money it represented.

The JCB 436 HT runs on a 132kW Cummins Engine and has an operating capacity weight of 15 tonnes.

JCB Bunbury General Manager Rod Ellard says the model was the ideal choice for the demanding environment at Dardanup.

“It’s productive, efficient, easy to maintain and extremely durable,” he says.

“It’s also very comfortable and has leading edge safety features which are essential when it’s hard at work all day, every day.”

Ellard adds the JCB 436 HT’s transmission dump feature also gave it an edge as it gives maximum hydraulic performance and limits vehicle speed when loading, while load-sensing hydraulics only use power on demand for maximum efficiency.

With more councils expected to sign up to the organic waste program over the next year, Battersby says the facility will likely require a second wheel loader in the next 12 – 24 months.

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