The South Coast town of Nowra is one of the first in Australia to embrace a new 'Green Ceramics MICROFactorie' recycling technology developed by Veena Sahajwalla and a team of researchers from UNSW's SMaRT Centre. Using machinery designed by the university, the facility will turn discarded mattresses and waste glass into green ceramic tiles.
"The University of NSW SMaRT centre designed a green ceramics machine where you mix crushed glass sand and mattress fluff," Shoalhaven City Council's waste services manager David Hojem told Government News.
"Then you add 'secret herbs and spices' and it gets heated up and compressed into a marbelised tile that can be used for all sorts of applications."
The facility is expected to process 700 tonnes of waste material per year into value-added materials. This not only provides a solution for waste materials, including a stockpile of used mattresses that have been multiplying at a rate of 12,000 per year, but also creates valuable new products.
“Our idea is to utilise those ceramic tiles within council and use it as a demonstration so if someone in private industry decides they want to set up a large factory in the area, we've got the material we can send to them,” David said.
The Shoalhaven City Council will be the first council in Australia to own and operate a recycling microfactory with construction due to be complete by mid 2022.
You can learn more about microrecycling technology in our interview with its inventor — Veena Sahajwalla.
Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.