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Case studies


Since a decade ago, the use of recyclable materials in the Australian construction industry has become an important item in resource efficiency and recovery policies for various economic, environmental and social reasons. This page showcases the application of C&D waste recyclables in construction projects (infrastructure, commercial, residential and office buildings) across Australia. These projects were constructed between 2010 and 2020. 

*Do you know any other projects in which recycled C&D waste resources are used? let us know (contact us) and we will share with others 

Manufacturing with recycled materials in regional Victoria

Integrated Recycling, located in Mildura, Victoria, uses recycled plastic primarily from local agricultural sources to create durable products such as grape vine posts, landscaping products, boardwalks and railway sleepers. It also manufactures Duratrack, a recycled plastic railway sleeper that last more than three times longer than timber sleepers and requires less energy to manufacture than concrete or steel sleepers. This keeps waste plastic that would otherwise go to landfill at a higher value use for longer—a key principle of the circular economy. Integrated Recycling received support from rounds 2 and 3 of the Victorian Government’s Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund to increase its production capacity. 

 Source: A circular economy for Victoria 2019- Sustainability Victoria (click here)


Recycled materials in local infrastructure (Victoria)

Sustainability Victoria’s Research, Development and Demonstration grants program has supported local business Close the Loop to develop a new asphalt additive product, TonerPlas, made from materials that would otherwise go to landfill. Every 300 metres of road uses 530,000 plastic bags, 168 glass bottles, toner from 12,500 used printer cartridges, and 134 tonnes of reclaimed road asphalt. Tests to date indicate that asphalt made from recovered materials has improved wear and deformation resistance in some circumstances compared to standard VicRoads-specified asphalt.

 Source: A circular economy for Victoria 2019- Sustainability Victoria  (click here)

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 Waverley Council: recycled glass in roads (NSW)

In 2010, Waverley Council, in partnership with NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia and the Packaging Stewardship Forum, provided the first site within NSW to demonstrate alternate use of crushed glass in pavement construction as an accepted product in NSW roads. Waverley Council substituted 15 tonnes of glass cullet into the road projects, 7.5 tonnes into asphalt and 7.5 tonnes into concrete.

Source: Construction and demolition waste guide-recycling and re-use across the supply chain (click here)

 Built Environs: 100 Hutt Street, Adelaide (South Australia)

100 Hutt Street is a commercial office building and the head office of Built Environs, the national building brand of McConnell Dowell. 100 Hutt Street was refurbished between 2007 and 2008 using the Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) Green Star building rating tool to demonstrate leading practice. The refurbishment achieved an overall rating of five green stars. During the construction, 100 Hutt Street implemented a waste management plan and recycled
or re-used 95.1 per cent of construction waste (by weight) from the construction activities, far exceeding the Green Star credit criterion.

Source: Construction and demolition waste guide-recycling and re-use across the supply chain (click here)


Case Study: Roads to Reuse Pilot Project: Kwinana Freeway Northbound Widening (Western Australia)

Kwinana Freeway Northbound Widening project was completed in 2019 and used approximately 25,000 tonnes of recycled construction and demolition (C&D) waste or crushed recycled concrete as sub-base under full depth asphalt. Further, the project team has provided surplus site material to smaller local projects and, overall, sold 56,783 tonnes of waste sand suitable for reuse.

More information: please visit the Roads to reuse web page (click here)

Source: Building our future: Main Roads WA- Projects Update 2019


Reclaimed asphalt as unsealed residential pavement (South Australia) 

The reconstruction of Cooper Street Kudla was undertaken by the City of Gawler works engineering department who chose Bitumate as the appropriate material for an unsealed surface. Cooper Street is a regional access road to five residential properties. Reconstruction of the road pavement in addition to installation of side drainage was required due to regular flooding. As an unsealed surface patrol grading is minimal, and with some residual bitumen provides some cohesion to reduce ravelling (particularly at the intersection) and some “re-healing” of the surface under traffic in hot weather occurs. Reclaimed asphalt is received at C&D recycling facilities predominantly in the form of slab asphalt removed from old pavements. The raw feed material is processed through crushing and screening to a grading with little or no plasticity. The product is produced by Resourceco under the brand name “BitumateTM”.

 Source: Reclaimed asphalt as unsealed residential pavement- Sustainable Aggregates South Australia (click here)


Source: LJ Hooker, SA

Asphalt construction for heavy vehicle load (NSW)


In 2018, Downer Pty Ltd in collaboration with two councils (i.e. Hume City Council and Randwick Council) and some other organisations constructed asphalt in some NSW roads with heavy vehicle load traffic. The project objectives were to minimise reliance on natural resources and virgin materials, reduce carbon emissions, and amount waste being landfilled. From C&D waste stream, reclaimed asphalt pavement and coarse aggregate were used. The produced asphalt contained 20 to 30% reclaimed asphalt pavement. The performance testing of the product shows that it improves fatigue, has superior deformation resistance for heavy vehicle loads, last 15% longer than standard asphalt and capable of withstanding 20% increase traffic loading.

Source:  Recycled materials in roads and pavements a technical review- Local Governments NSW (click here)

Bruce Highway (Pine River to Anzac Avenue) (Queensland)


The Bruce Highway is one of Australia’s major highways and links Brisbane and Cairns. The $3.5 million Pine River to Anzac Avenue upgrade is being undertaken to improve road user safety at the most southern section of the Bruce Highway, around North Lakes, north of Brisbane. The road is heavily trafficked, carrying 1,500 vehicles per hour. Alex Fraser supplied 5,500 tonnes of Recycled Concrete Pavement Material (RM001) for the project through civil constructors ALLROADS.

Choosing recycled materials is expected to result in approximately 47 tonnes of carbon savings, 1,335 tonnes less material compared to nonrecycled materials and 45 less truck movements in this project.

Source:  Bruce Highway (Pine River to Anzac Avenue)-Alex Fraser (click here)


Source: Alex Fraser, Qld

Clem Jones (CLEM7) Tunnel (Queensland)


In 2010, the Clem Jones Tunnel (CLEM7) provides a critical river crossing that bypasses the CBD to link Brisbane's growing northern and southern suburbs, with direct connections at Bowen Hills, Kangaroo Point and Woolloongabba. Alex Fraser developed a recycled concrete roadbase to engineers’ specifications specifically for the project. The material was stabilised to meet the demands of the application. Recycled roadbase is approximately 15-20% lighter compared to materials produced from Queensland quarried rock, which means less material is required. On the CLEM7 project, the benefit of using recycled materials was a cost-saving of an estimated $570 k, and 725 fewer truck movements. The use of recycled materials also prevented the extraction of 120 kt of natural resources, saved more than 100 kt of waste from going to landfill and reduced carbon emissions by around 1kt.


Source:  Clem Jones (CLEM7) Tunnel- Alex Fraser (click here)


Dingley Bypass, South East Melbourne, (Victoria)

The 6.4 km, $156 million Dingley Bypass, has been completed with Alex Fraser materials. The bypass was opened by Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan in mid-March, a full five months ahead of schedule. The new road makes the Alex Fraser Clarinda site, where 96 per cent of crushed pavement materials for the project were sourced, even easier for customers to access. Throughout the two-year project, 269,000 tonnes of Class 4 Crushed Concrete, Class 2 and 3 Crushed Concrete and Recycled Sand was supplied. Alex Fraser products resulted in 23,000 less tonnes used due to the density savings compared to quarried rock and 770 less truck movements. In addition, 1,695,448 kilograms of CO2 have been prevented from entering the atmosphere.

Source:  Dingley Bypass -Alex Fraser (click here)


City of Darwin road upgrade (Northern Territory)


In 2020, for the first time in NT a collaboration between the City of Darwin and Downer Group resulted in the use of recycled asphalt to upgrade seven major roads in Darwin. The recycled material used in the road projects is estimated to save 12 tonnes of CO2 emission.

Source:  City of Darwin road upgrade- Mirage (click here)

Recycled plastic sleeper (Victoria)

For the first time in Victoria, V/Line trains are rolling over railway sleepers made from recycled plastic. Made from a mix of polystyrene and agricultural plastic waste, the recycled sleepers provide an environmentally sustainable alternative to concrete, which requires intensive resources and causes higher levels of carbon emissions. The recycled plastic sleepers last up to 50 years and they need less maintenance during that time. The recycled sleepers are an innovative replacement for V/Line's current concrete sleepers and were installed in July 2019 near Wyndham Vale train station, in a brand-new storage yard for regional trains. V/Line trains are heavier and run faster than metro trains, so they need sturdy sleepers. Concrete has always been the most reliable option – until now. For every kilometre installed, the sleepers use 64 tonnes of plastic waste that would have otherwise gone to landfills.

Source:  Whole of Victorian Government Social Procurement Framework
(click here)


Using recycled glass in level crossing removal (Victoria)


The Kororoit Creek Road Level Crossing Removal Project is the first rail project in Victoria to use recycled glass sand as bedding fill, as well as backfill for drainage piping. The recycled glass sand is manufactured from inert recycled glass recovered from the glass recycling process. Reusing this material reduces the amount of waste being sent to landfills and preserves existing sand deposits. It also conserves the energy that would otherwise be used to extract sand. The cost of the recycled glass sand used in this project was about half the price of virgin material, due to shorter transport distances. It is also safer to handle, as it presents a lower respiratory hazard than traditional sand. The project used 904 tonnes of recycled glass sand at the Kororoit Creek Road site and another 410 tonnes at the Aviation Road and Wyndham Vale Stabling Yard project sites.

Source:  Whole of Victorian Government Social Procurement Framework

(click here)


Major Road Projects Victoria - Mordialloc Freeway and first Recycled First projects (Victoria)

The Mordialloc Freeway is dubbed ‘Australia’s greenest freeway’ for good reason – the newly finished project used almost 800,000 tonnes of recycled and reused material, including the world’s first 75% recycled plastic noise walls.

MRPV’s Craigieburn Road was one of the first projects in Victoria to implement Recycled First and will deliver around 252,690 tonnes of recycled and reused material.

Source:  Ecologiq's newsletter (click here)

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