Old jars help build $20m sewage plant
DISCARDED drink bottles and tomato sauce jars are helping to build the $20 million South Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant.
Lismore City Council and contractor Stirloch Constructions have begun using recycled glass sand in pipe bedding as part of the major construction project, which will transform the 80-year-old plant into a modern facility with an increased capacity of 45%.
Stirloch Constructions Project Engineer Shane Mangan said the company had a commitment to innovation and would be using around 1000 tonnes of the glass as they lay the foundation pipes for the new plant.
"There are a number of new products that haven't been used in Australia before that we are utilising on this project,” Mr Mangan said.
"We conducted a number of tests and trials using the material prior to proceeding with its use.”
He said to date they found no issues or new health or safety risks associated with the use of the material, which has characteristics similar to coarse river sand.
"One of our company's environmental targets moving forward is to try and utilise recyclable materials wherever possible or feasible.
"If the product works well on this project we would certainly look at using it on other projects.”
Council's Business Development Coordinator Danielle Hanigan said glass sand was also now being used by Council in other construction projects, such as pipe bedding in the Nimbin water supply upgrade.
"Initially we were only using the glass sand to mix into roadbase, so it's fantastic that we can broaden its use into other construction applications,” Ms Hanigan said.
"We are really keen for the community to know that we are using their household rubbish in really innovative ways, and that their waste is being recycled responsibly in the local area.”
She said the next big goal was to find a way to recycle plastics locally.
"That's exactly what Lismore City Council is all about - tackling our waste problems and finding solutions that make us a leader in the field.”