EPD Australasia

Waste to Resource Plant goes for transparency with EPD

Repurpose It – the owner of the most recent EPD published with EPD Australasia has a vision of 100% zero to landfill. To realise this vision, Repurpose It targets a variety of waste streams from green and organic matter to drilling and drainage waste and produces a range of products. In a bid to ensure complete transparency, Repurpose It have invested in an EPD to provide environmental indicators for recovered mineral aggregate products manufactured at their washing plant in Epping Victoria. We talked to Luis Fernandez, Repurpose It’s Environmental and Sustainability Advisor at Repurpose It.

Originally from Spain, Luis Fernandez has a Masters in Waste Management, an MBA and a Master of Environmental Management. He has worked in both Europe and Spain on environmental projects, contaminated land management, waste management, sustainability and integrated management systems.

Luis spearheaded the efforts to publish Repurpose It’s recent EPD for their innovative waste-to-resource plant in Epping Victoria. We spoke to him about Repurpose It’s goals and the role EPDs will play.

Repurpose It’s tagline is “Creating Value from Waste”. How is the company achieving this goal?

Currently, in many scenarios and areas worldwide, waste is considered a cost. It can be an undesirable consequence of an activity that requires resources to be “taken away” and disposed of. Our objective is to add value by transforming waste into a resource and minimising costs and rates for disposal and waste management.

The company’s first EPD is for recovered mineral aggregates.  Can you explain the process being used to recover these minerals and identify the typical products being recovered?

The process is based on a series of steps including pressure washing, scrubbing and materials separation by density, screening and water treatment.

Products recovered include clays, sands, and aggregates which can be tailored to suit requirements in terms of materials properties.

Mineral aggregates generally range from 4 to 100 mm. in diameter, and fractions can be recovered as per desired applications. For example, products include railway ballast, and road base materials.

What prompted Repurpose It to invest in an EPD for this process and how does the company intend to take advantage of the EPD now published?

We aim for continuous improvement and environmental performance. Knowing the stages of manufacturing a product or service is key in order to understand the resources consumption and potential environmental impacts.

Performing a Life Cycle Assessment, and associated Environmental Product Declaration, is a very good approach in terms of further understanding the real requirements and footprints of processes and products that we use in our daily activities as societies.

From our perspective, information is a necessary element for improvement and transparency, which are some of our key objectives.

Nowadays, the environmental aspects of activities are becoming more popular in the eyes of the consumers and public opinion as well as governmental organisations and private companies/NGOs, as they demand alternatives to traditional products which may not be aligned with their expectations. This can be not only a potentially positive outcome in terms of the environmental impact on a currently delicate scenario worldwide, with pressing issues, but also a powerful tool to help in developing marketing strategies that focus on an alternative to other types of manufacturing.

Click here to access the EPD.

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