The road to Brisbane 2032 may be paved with gold but the road to the future site of the Athletes Village is paved with green.

Recycled building waste from some of Brisbane’s most iconic developments is the core material used in the recently completed $16m upgrade of Macarthur Avenue and Cedar Road at Northshore Brisbane, a key accommodation hub for the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games

Leading the field is Rino Recycling, one of Queensland’s leading commercial recovery and waste recycling operations, which supplied 96 per cent of the recycled materials.

These materials came from demolished grandstands at Ballymore, construction work at Bulimba Barracks and the Mater Hospital, concrete and bricks from the BP Refinery, Cross River Rail and Windsor Holden worksites and fill from the Port of Brisbane and Brisbane City Council buildings.

Northshore is at the forefront of sustainability and environmental innovation, combining smart technology, energy efficiency, sustainable design principles, habitat and biodiversity management, waste minimisation and eco-friendly infrastructure and planning.

Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) Urban Development Project Director Michael Bucknell says the recycled road project highlights the importance of sustainability in developing Queensland’s largest waterfront urban renewal project.

“An urban renewal project of this size and history naturally removes a significant amount of redundant materials,” Mr Bucknell says.

“Knowing they can then be repurposed to fulfil the vision of a commercial residential and tourist destination is a positive step to ensuring sustainable development delivery.”

 

THE TREES TELL THE STORY

13,534 trees. That’s the equivalent number of trees being planted that the works undertaken by Rino Recycling on Macarthur Avenue and Cedar Road represent.

Giving a whole new meaning to “tree-lined”, a recent assessment by the Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions of environmental benefits of the 27,466 tonnes of Rino Recycling materials used on the project, found that it is estimated to save 270.8 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to 13,534 trees being planted.

Rino Recycling General Manager Daniel Blaser said his company was currently recycling an estimated 87 per cent of construction and demolition (C&D) material sourced from across South East Queensland.

“Being able to quantify the works Rino Recycling does in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, tree planting and energy savings means we can have important conversations with suppliers, decision makers and the general public using terminology they know, but perhaps don’t quite understand because real results haven’t been tabled before,” he said.

“In purchasing these recycled materials and working with Rino, Northshore is helping activate real environmental benefits and lift Queensland’s current C&D recycling rate from its current 75.4 per cent, towards the Queensland Government’s ambitious target of 80% by 2030.”

“This project is a game changer, in every sense of the word.”

 

GAME ON FOR OLYMPICS GLORY

Mr Blaser says Brisbane 2032 is an ideal opportunity to host a sustainable Games and show the world Brisbane’s capabilities and forward-thinking in the environmental sector.

“What a powerful statement it would make on a global stage to build as much infrastructure as possible out of recycled material or from materials that can then be recycled,” Mr Blaser says.

“We approached Northshore with a proposal to use recycled materials for its road upgrade and by embracing that idea, just over 27,000 tonnes of recycled construction and development waste was repurposed and used to create high-quality roads.”

“There’s a significant infrastructure pipeline – not just at Northshore but throughout Southeast Queensland – over the next 20 years, in particular in the lead-up to the 2032 Olympics, which we are ideally positioned to capitalise on.”

 

RINO READY TO ROLL OUT TOP RESULTS

Rino Recycling is conveniently based at nearby Eagle Farm with work commencing soon on a brand-new state-of-the-art recycling facility at Pinkenba.

Due to open in mid-2023, the $85M facility will have the capacity to handle 1.57M tonnes of construction and demolition waste annually from major building sites through to household skip bins.

“The waste and recycling industry is on the cusp of a significant growth phase with Southeast Queensland predicted to run out of landfill airspace by 2024 if no other landfills are approved or extended,” he says.

“The need to recycle has never been greater – nor has the benefit.

“Our recycling processes mean we can divert waste from landfill to produce building products of equal quality to those using virgin materials without having to blast them out of the ground or dig them up.

“Additionally, when running at full capacity, the recycling sector in Australia creates 9.2 jobs per 10,000 tonnes of waste processed while sending the same amount to landfill creates 2.8 jobs.”

 

TEAMWORK THE KEY TO SUCCESS

Mr Blaser says the Northshore recycled road project, which opened to traffic in February 2022, is a shining example of what can be achieved when governments, developers and the construction industry support sustainability.

He says greater investment in recycling at all levels of government will reap long-term economic and environmental benefits.

“Growing the circular economy is identified as one of the Federal Government’s key economic pillars with the potential to divert millions of tonnes of waste from landfill over the life of a project.

“We need greater awareness and support and more funding and investment to really harness our potential.”

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