Funding for a new research centre has been announced, with its work to focus on recycling for construction products and focussing on ten challenging waste streams.
The Australian Research Council Hub for Transformation of Reclaimed Waste Resources to Engineered Materials and Solutions for a Circular Economy is part of a response to the country’s landfill issues, according to a release for RMIT, which is the lead of nine universities and 36 partners involved in the new centre.
Research lead Professor Sujeeva Setunge said investigations would include, “changing behaviours, smart designs to minimise waste, optimum processing of waste and converting waste to energy, developing novel materials using recycling and upcycling technologies, and metrics and tools to encourage uptake of new materials and solutions.
“There is currently a material shortage for Australia’s $14 billion heavy construction industry, so this research to reclaim waste and transform it into new materials will deliver benefits both economically and environmentally.”
The ten waste streams of focus would be textile waste; biomass; tyres; glass; paper and cardboard; construction and demolition waste; fly ash; plastics; biochar and timber.
Industry partners include AGL Energy, ARRB Group, Downer EDI Works and Composite Reinforcement Solutions (CRS).
Roughly a third of construction waste currently ends up in landfill, with the country’s current landfill space predicted to be occupied by 2025.
The total value of the hub’s effort is budgeted at $18 million. The initiative shared in $25 million in federal funding announced on Thursday for five ARC Industrial Transformation Research hubs.
Picture: Salman Shooshtarian
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