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Rethinking rectification and cladding waste: Australia’s First Circular ACP Solution

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WITH more emphasis being placed on sustainability and the circular economy, especially in construction, Ecoloop is taking a proactive approach to enhance sustainability in the industry.

About Ecoloop

Ecoloop is a recycling solution for recladding waste which was designed by Fairview in close collaboration with waste management experts. This initiative was established in response to State Government’s mandated removal of polyethylene (PE) cladding, as part of comprehensive rectification initiatives across the country.

Identifying a gap within the market, Ecoloop sees ‘non-compliant cladding’ waste from rectification projects recycled and repurposed, diverting up to 100% of non-compliant ACP cladding material from landfill.

With more emphasis being placed on sustainability and the circular economy, especially in construction, Ecoloop is taking a proactive approach to enhance sustainability in the industry. Industry-wide sustainability is at the heart of this initiative, with the intention for Ecoloop being the maximisation of ease for builders, building owners, Councils, developers, owners corporations and strata managers to take the sustainable path with problem cladding while facilitating the repurposing of new products, reducing virgin material consumption and contributing to the circular economy.

Perth Stadium

The Impact

With an estimated 4.2 million sqm of cladding across Australia identified to require replacement, in environmental terms, this translates to 20,000 tonnes of ACP which has consumed 340,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases in production and use.

To explain the significance environmentally, recycling aluminium composite panel offsets virgin material production of aluminium and polyethylene. Repurposing these products consumes less than 20% of the energy required to create the virgin material, which means every square metre recycled has an equivalent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as planting one tree. That is, 4.2 million sqm of cladding = 4.2 million trees. *Disclaimer: estimates only.

The Take Back Program and Process

If you are aware of a rectification project which requires a reclad solution, Fairview will be able to offer a cladding solution, alongside of the Ecoloop service to recycle the non-compliant cladding that is being removed.

From January 11, 2021, our Ecoloop initiative will commence the collection of cladding waste from rectification project sites before transporting to Ecoloop’s processing facility, where a unique and sustainable separation process is performed.

The panels will be separated into aluminium and PE, and then proceed to different facilities to repurpose the components into other sustainable construction products.

Particular concern has been raised as to the Polyethylene material and how this can sustainably be reused. The proprietary Ecoloop separation process ensures the PE can be safely and efficiently used in other construction and building products, such as piping and seating.

As with all recycling processes there will invariably be some waste which does not fall clearly into the aluminium and polyethylene categories, such as paint and sealants. Uniquely, the Ecoloop solution can also prevent this going to landfill through Process Engineered Fuels, and act as a coal offset.

Where other recycling practices see waste materials shipped overseas for processing, often using harmful and unethical practices, Ecoloop provides an Australian solution following Australian Standards using Australian workers.

Outcomes

Possible uses and innovative applications for the recycled material, continue to be investigated through our engagement with leading Universities and research and technology organisations.

In addition, optional reporting and independent auditing will provide our clients with statistics on how Ecoloop has helped them lessen their environmental impact now and into the future.

Bunjil Place

How Can You Play Your Part?

Rethink rectification and cladding waste.

By taking the first step to consider where your cladding waste is going, you are showing your awareness.

By contacting Fairview at ecoloop@fv.com.au or visiting www.fv.com.au/ecoloop, you’re showing your commitment to enhancing sustainability in the construction industry.

Ashley How Bio

Ashley is Fairview’s well-known and highly experienced technical manager. He leads the Fairview Innovation team and responsible for addressing non-standard applications and providing customized solutions to our customers with knowledge gained through ongoing product research and development.

*Sponsored editorial*

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