Kingston embraces sustainable innovation to close the loop
The equivalent of 29,000 milk bottles have been diverted from landfill and recycled into stormwater pipes in a landmark project for the City of Kingston.
The purchase of 100% recycled pipe instead of non-recycled plastic pipe for new drainage at The Corso Reserve in Parkdale is a significant step forward in promoting the circular economy within our community.
Kingston Mayor Georgina Oxley said Council is always looking for opportunities to implement changes, both big and small, to make Kingston a more environmentally sustainable place to live and work.
“Like many residents across Kingston, I want to know that the milk bottle left behind after my coffee and the detergent bottle that I have just used up are going to be recycled, not sent to landfill,” Cr Oxley said.
“By choosing to use 100% recycled stormwater pipes, Kingston is showing we really can lead the way in closing the loop. You can actually see the different colours of waste bottles, broken wheelie bins and a whole range of other plastics that have been sorted, shredded, cleaned and then moulded into heavy-duty drainage pipes.”
The 60-metre drainage project is the first in Victoria since the company RPM Pipes were approved for civil construction use beside paved roads by the Victorian Department of Transport almost 18 months ago.
RPM Pipes have produced stormwater pipes from recycled bottles and other plastic waste since 1998 at their factory in Kyabram in central Victoria, and the pipes have mostly been used in the agricultural and mining sector, said RPM Pipes Managing Director Terry Kay.
“This project sets an example for all levels of government and demonstrates Kingston’s genuine commitment to working towards a circular economy, where recycled materials are put to good use,” Mr Kay said.
Kingston has also been trialling the use of recycled asphalt product on some road resurfacing projects across the city. The innovative new product reuses plastic bags, glass bottles and printer toner to create the sustainable and affordable asphalt that performs as good as, or better than, traditional asphalt pavements
“This is such an exciting project and demonstrates how we can put our rubbish to good use rather than send it to landfill,” said Cr Oxley.
“Since 2018, about 2,460 tonnes of Reconophalt has been laid in Kingston which is equivalent to around 4.5 kilometres of road. That’s about 720,000 glass bottles, almost 2 million plastic bags and 44,000 printer cartridges we’ve recycled.”
The use of 100% recycled stormwater pipe and recycled asphalt are both great examples of Sustainable Procurement in action – making the choice to buy products that minimise impacts on the environment, our economy, and society – not just right now but into the future.
Kingston is also always looking at ways to help the local business community be more sustainable. One of these ways is through the ASPIRE online marketplace and the newly launched Circular Advantage program.
“We are really keen to promote this program in Kingston, as it helps businesses move from a linear business model where waste ends in landfill, to a circular economy model where the use of natural resources is minimised and waste is reused in innovative production processes,” said Cr Oxley.