CDE Group provides construction waste a new lease of life

CDE Group lays the foundations for a circular economy by delivering leading-edge equipment and technology that transforms waste into new resources, providing an ideal opportunity for the Australian construction industry to jump on the sustainability train.

As one of the leading providers of wet processing equipment and technology globally, CDE Group delivers innovative, materials washing solutions for a variety of products in the waste recycling and construction materials sectors, with projects in place around the world.

CDE Group celebrated its 30th year in business last year, saying its wet processing technologies have facilitated the diversion of over 100 million tonnes of construction, demolition and excavation (CD&E) waste from landfill globally since its inception. As the Australian construction industry continues to shift towards sustainability, CDE Group’s waste solutions present an opportunity for fundamental industry change.

CDE Group provides construction waste a new lease of life
Daniel Webber, Regional Manager – Australasia, CDE Group.

Daniel Webber has been with the company for the past five years and as Regional Manager – Australasia, he says there’s no better time for the Australian market to realise the benefits of CDE Group’s wet processing systems.

“We have proven the success of our wet processing systems with a portfolio of over 2,000 successful projects installed globally,” says Webber. “In Australia, governments are amplifying the importance of sustainable construction and development; owners are seeking contractors with an environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) centric approach; and contractors are seeking materials suppliers with sustainably sourced products.”

“There is vast potential for the Australian construction industry to create a future of sustainability, and CDE Group can help transform that potential into reality.”

With a local presence based out of Queensland, CDE Group has a clear focus on being the best in the world for wet processing technology in the quarrying and recycling sectors. The company’s modular solutions can be deployed, built and commissioned on a customer’s site quickly and efficiently. Its products, ranging from wash plants to conveyors and dewatering screens, cover a range of applications including sand and aggregates, waste recycling and wastewater management.

Together with its customers, CDE Group is diverting millions of tonnes of material from landfill and Melbourne-based building materials recycling company Repurpose It is proving the success of CDE Group’s solutions in Australia.

Repurpose It takes on waste from a number of sectors including construction and demolition, excavation and drilling, road and rail, and infrastructure. In 2017, the company sought new ways to transform CD&E waste into recycled products that meet the requirements of the local industry – leading them to CDE Group. By the end of 2018, CDE Group had supplied and installed a selection of modular elements to enable Repurpose It to launch what is said to be an Australian-first CD&E waste recycling wash plant.

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The site has changed the landscape of the industry in Melbourne, explains Webber. “Repurpose It is a company that’s investing to turn construction waste materials around to make the highest end products that it can send straight back out the gate,” he says. “It’s a business that’s targeting large infrastructure projects, making long lasting industry relationships, and making good stewardship of the materials that are coming in to maximise recovery – it’s a pioneering company that CDE Group is proud to work with.”

“Our solution at Repurpose It incorporated several elements including an AggMax logwasher in the Infinity screening range, a ProGrade H2-60 screen, an EvoWash sand classification and dewatering system, conveyors, a decanter centrifuge and an AquaCycle thickener, and today the plant processes up to 150 tonnes per hour of a single waste input.”

According to Victorian waste flows, Blue Environment’s 2019 report prepared for Infrastructure Victoria, from 2017-2018 CD&E waste made up around 46 per cent of all waste generated in Victoria, which is estimated to be about 6.1 million tonnes. During this time, around 2.7 million tonnes of CD&E waste was landfilled. Backed by CDE Group’s solutions, Repurpose It is striving to improve these statistics, turning this waste into reusable materials for building and infrastructure projects across the state.

CDE Group provides construction waste a new lease of life
Repurpose It’s full construction, demolition and excavation waste recycling wash plant delivered in co-creation with CDE Group.

The success of the Repurpose It project is a typical result of CDE Group’s solutions. As a company with a commitment to delivering excellence and world class solutions, CDE Group ensures that by co-creating with its customers, it can deliver imaginative wet processing systems that exceed expectations.

One of the company’s main objectives, explains Webber, is to maximise the recovery of materials by repurposing them into sellable, high-quality products.

Further bolstering CDE Group’s offering is its ability to tackle the more complex waste streams – the “tricky stuff”, as Webber puts it. “Concrete crushing and screening for example is very much commoditised, and there’s a lot of people out there doing it very well,” he says. “But when waste streams get a bit trickier – they might be contaminated with wood, plastics, chemicals or hydrocarbons – that’s when we come to the fore.”

“We can still show a recycling route for that tricky material back into the circular economy, and that’s something we’re extremely proud of.”

Its companies like CDE Group that will make Australia’s National Waste Policy Action Plan to recover 80 per cent of all waste by 2030 attainable. As natural resources continue to move further away from metropolitan areas, there arises an obvious business case for the use of recycled materials, because they’re a regenerating source in a metropolitan setting. The alternative of having to transport sand and aggregates in from out of town is unsustainable.

In the next 10 years, Webber says CDE Group will continue to tackle the more complicated CD&E waste streams. “A lot of the heavy fraction of CD&E waste is contaminated with masonry and low strength materials, so we’re putting a big focus on rejecting that material and separating it out to enable the more recyclable materials to go back into full strength aggregates,” says Webber. “There’s a lot of this kind of waste being handled in regional parts of Australia, so we endeavour to unlock those areas and deliver them the technology that can address contaminated materials.”

“We want to see the generators of CD&E waste, such as Tier 1 and Tier 2 contractors, drive the procurement of recycled materials; we want to foster the relationships between CD&E waste generators and CD&E waste recyclers where the benefits go both ways.

“We want to close the loop directly to enable waste generators to sell their recyclable materials, that otherwise would have been put in landfill, to recycling companies that will take those materials in the gate and sell back the recycled products to be reused in future buildings and infrastructure.”

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