The Earthcare Recycling initiative developed out of a pilot project funded through the Waste Authority for the Vale project near Ellenbrook in 2008. The results of the pilot project provided the viability of recycling of builders’ waste, with a focus on ‘at source separation’ but there were significant behavioural change aspects that required addressing.
ECR achieved additional funding for the next phase which encompassed life cycle analysis ad logistics modelling, which again proved the viability of the initiative and the significant benefits to the environment, the economy and a reduction in the amount of waste going to landfill.
In order to take the initiative to the next level, ECR merged their concept with a company called XEarth, who had the infrastructure and assets that were necessary for operations. Importantly the owner of that business, Tim Radley, was already developing his recycling model for the waste generated in new home construction. Combining the skills and assets of the two organisations, created an entity and a business model that was unique. Unfortunately in those days the waste levy for removing material to land fill was very low at only $8 per tonne, consequently there were no financial benefits for the builders or developers to recycle.
Fortunately there were two organisations who were able to foresee the future and the necessity to both recycle, reuse and minimise the waste material from new home construction.
The first of these was the Summit Group, who adopted and constructed the first MRC in WA in 2011, for a 1200 lot development at Parkland Heights near Baldivis. The second was the ABN Group, who again used the system for a 286 home development in Baldivis Quarter. The ABN development proved the benefits of the system, but also the sites were cleaner and safer due to the frequent clearing away of waste. Importantly, the waste generated was measured and the builders were able to see the benefits of having a locally based compound where they could store materials.
The next stage in the journey occurred when the ABN Group provided a contract for the servicing of all their homes in the eastern suburbs.
ECR’s stated goals are:
- 5, 10, 85. Which means 5 material recovery centres in Perth, 10% market share of new home waste management and 85% of the material to be recycled by 2015.