Plastics recycling facility a step closer

Plastics Recycling Forum presenters and attendees. Back: Alex Dorman; Rolf Binder, RDA Barossa Gawler Light Adelaide Plains Chairman; Tim Hackett, Deputy Chairman of WISPA; Joel Phillips; Oliver Lovat. Front: Zac McCrindle, RDA Barossa Gawler Light Adelaide Plains; and Aubrey Thomas.

Student support organisation, Father’s Farm in Nuriootpa is an ideal potential site for a new plastics recycling drop-off facility for Barossa wineries and businesses, a new report has found.

The report, which was presented to about 70 attendees at a Plastics Recycling Forum held at Barossa Campus last Thursday, is part of ongoing work by the Wine Industry Sustainable Packaging Alliance (WISPA), supported by RDA Barossa Gawler Light Adelaide Plains and Green Industries SA, to improve packaging and recyclability within the wine industry.

While as a whole, the Barossa wine industry is already recycling 94 percent of its waste, the report found small to medium wineries contribute about 40 percent of the remaining 3,100t that goes into landfill every year, and vineyards, 20 percent.

“It’s often businesses with five or ten people, who are busy making great products, that haven’t got that focus on recycling,” explained report consultant, Joel Phillips.

The report sought ways to address reasons why wineries and businesses may not recycle as completely as possible, being primarily a lack of service close to the Barossa, and secondly inconvenience and cost.

A centralised facility, offering a convenient and simple drop-off for a variety of common wastes is the proposed solution, implemented along with education, reducing waste volumes and improving reuse over recycling, and working alongside other recycling services already in use.

“We are keen to recycle all plastics that can be,” said Tim Hackett, Deputy Chairman of WISPA and QSE Manager at Henschke. 

“The whole point of this is aggregation to bring down transport costs.”

In the proposal, utes, trailers or small trucks would pull into the site, be measured for material volume and unloaded with assistance in to correct bins.

From there materials would be baled or allocated to large bins and transported by truck for processing and onward sale to Australian and overseas customers.

There will be a yet to be determined fee for using the service, charged either by a pay as you go or subscription basis.

Father’s Farm has been proposed as the ideal site for the project because it has already been collecting e-waste for several years, has an existing EPA license, strong volunteer base and central location.

Thursday’s forum was an opportunity for creators of the report to receive industry feedback before progressing with the next stage, which is to finalise the business case and secure project funding within three to six months, with a view for the service to be implemented within a year.

“With Father’s Farm, the service can start out small and grow as people become aware of it.  There are no big set up costs, it will have flexibility to gradually grow,” said Tim.

- Advertisement -