Recycled materials will soon comprise a greater part of Victorian transport projects, as part of the Victorian government’s Recycled First policy.
The program will require future projects delivered by the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority to incorporate recycled materials, in an effort to create markets for recycled materials, divert resources from landfill, create local jobs, and make major infrastructure projects more sustainable.
“We’re paving a greener future for Victoria’s infrastructure, turning waste into vital materials for our huge transport agenda and getting rubbish out of landfills,” said Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan.
Although recycled materials are already being widely used in road projects in Victoria, including on the M80 Ring Road, Monash Freeway, and South Gippsland Highway, the project will also apply to rail projects.
Examples of materials that could be reused and meet current standards for road and rail projects include recycled aggregates, glass, plastic, timber, steel, ballast, crushed concrete, crushed brick, crumb rubber, reclaimed asphalt pavement and organics.
According to a statement from the Victorian government, those companies that wish to deliver major transport infrastructure projects will be demonstrate how they will prioritise recycled and reused materials while maintaining compliance and quality standards.
Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, highlighted the benefits that such a policy would have.
“This is an important investment in the recycling industry. It ensures we recycle and re-use items on government projects, and keep waste out of landfill.”
Current transport projects will also be encouraged to look for uses for their own waste and discarded materials. For example, soil excavated from the Metro Tunnel site in Parkville is now being used for pavement layers on roads in point Cook. The 14,00 tonnes of soil would have otherwise gone to landfill.
Allan noted that the project could lead to a mindset shift in the construction industry.
“Recycled First will boost the demand for reused materials right across our construction sector – driving innovation in sustainable materials and changing the way we think about waste products.”
Current projects that are being delivered by the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority include the Level Crossing Removal Project, and Rail Projects Victoria also sits under the authority, which covers the Regional Rail Revival, Metro Tunnel, Melbourne Airport rail link and Western Rail Plan projects.