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There have been a few whispers around Town that the Shire is landfilling any glass that is dropped off at the Davis Road Landfill or our transfer stations. This is not true!
Whilst there are challenges faced by the Shire in running recycling operations, the Shire is committed to waste avoidance and waste recovery to ensure the long term environmental health of the region.
Glass that is separated and dropped off at one of the Shire facilities is crushed with on-site machinery at Davis Road and re-used onsite for road base for on-site haulage routes, hardstands to tipping areas, and as an alternative to daily cover material thereby reducing costs, ensuring diversion from landfill and conserving raw materials. By using the crushed glass within the landfill operation we are saving money by not having to purchase raw material to achieve the same outcome. So although it is recycled by using it in the landfill operation, it is not actually landfilled.
Within Australia there is currently only one glass beneficiary plant which is in Adelaide. Perth does not have a suitable plant to accept and process glass. The cost of shipping to Adelaide makes that method of recycling unviable for a small Shire like ours who would only receive approximately 100 to 150 tonnes of glass annually. The Shire unfortunately has limited impact on the overall recycling lifecycle of most recyclable materials and is reliant on commercial industry and the state government to develop markets or processing facilities for potentially recyclable materials in society.
Glass in the Shire is also recovered through the Kerbside recycling program which is currently contracted to Suez Environmental. Any glass or other recyclable materials put into the yellow top wheelie bins that are serviced by Suez Environmental are sorted at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Bibra Lake. The glass is then stockpiled there until they have a sufficient amount to make a shipment to either Adelaide or Asia; wherever there is a market for the material.
It is not in the interest of the Shire or our recycling contractors to landfill recyclable materials. Diverting recyclable materials from landfill saves both the Shire and our ratepayers money.