Reuse and recycle

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Bega Shire cuts costs with MB L140 crusher bucket for concrete recycling

Significant cost saving, as well as environmental benefits, are being achieved with concrete recycling

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With six towns and seven villages spread across 6,300 square kilometres on the south coast of New South Wales, Bega Valley Shire Council was facing the task of repair and replacement of large sections of concrete kerbing ahead of some major road reconstruction projects.

"As part of the solution of replacing these concrete assets, we wanted to look at the possibility of reusing as much waste material as possible, which makes sense both from a cost and environmental viewpoint," Bega Shire works engineer Jason Heffernan explains.

"With limited landfill facilities, the reduction of council waste is a high priority to ensure the needs of residents and businesses are met by having space for disposal of household and commercial waste.

"Due to the volumes involved, concrete recycling was targeted as a priority so we spoke with our regular contractors to see what could be achieved. Michael Grant of Bega Bobcats came up with a practical solution that has been working very well for us." 

The solution came in the form of an MB L140 crusher bucket being attached to a skid steer loader, which enables all recovered concrete to be crushed and recycled into usable material, having first established that it is not contaminated with asbestos products or similar.

"From the time we purchased the MB crusher it started saving a lot of time and money, while giving us good quality material," Grant says.

"The L140 crusher enables concrete, rocks, tiles and other hard materials to be crushed for reuse as an alternative to rock mulch.

"In many instances we don’t need to purchase materials and it’s saving us time and money as well as achieving the Council’s objectives of reducing vehicle movements and reducing landfill costs. Recycling material enables us to bulk up our road base with a 50 per cent mixture of road base with our recycled crushed product, saving 50 per cent on backfill.

"While using the MB crusher bucket can save more cost on some jobs more than others, we have calculated the money we are saving can easily justify the investment. For example, disposal of 240 tonnes of concrete costs $250 per tonne. Over time, these cost savings become very significant, particularly when other costs such as the tipper operator, time and fuel are added.

"In disposal costs of concrete waste alone we save a four hour round trip comprising $400 worth of equipment time plus an average of $1,500 in tip fees. This means we save $1,000 on one job alone."


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