Published On: Fri, Sep 23rd, 2011

Recycling pays off in award winning Australian design

An old tip site turned recycling depot in the Melbourne outer suburb of Dandenong has proven a useful resource for architects and designers

of some of 2011’s most acclaimed projects.

The Waste Converters Recycling Depot in Dandenong lists its regular clients as including eco-entrepreneur Joost Bakker, architect Jerry Wolveridge, restaurant Vue de Monde’s Shannon Bennett, furniture designer Mark Tuckey and artist David Bromley.

Wolveridge says he loves to sift through the recycled materials at the Waste Converters yard.

“Our firm has a reputation for the robust merging of textures, most commonly incorporating the natural character of timber – recycled where possible,” he is quoted by the company.

The practice was recently awarded the Australian Timber Design Award, and the Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Chapter for Sustainable Design.  Materials sourced from the Dandenong site, particularly a recycled plywood sheet from discarded glazing delivery crates, were used in the winning designs.

“We were able to find a re-use for the material as internal wall lining at a very cost effective and interesting way,” said Wolveridge.

Ward Petherbridge, managing director of Waste Converters, has been running his Dandenong recycling business for over 15 years. One of the main materials recycled at the depot is post-industrial timber packaging waste. Waste Converters customer, IVECO Trucks, for example, import hundreds of engines from America and Europe annually. They arrive on large pallets made of exotic hardwoods.

“I thought it was a travesty that these valuable timbers were ending up in landfill or being mulched,” said Petherbridge. “It became a bit of a mission to find artists and designers to create products from this un-tapped resource.”

According to Petherbridge, pallets and other timber packaging frequently end up in landfill sites or are pulverised into low-grade mulch. In Victoria alone, over 500,000 tonnes of timber waste are disposed of each year. “In the 2010/11 financial year Waste Converters recycling activities provided a net carbon benefit of 14,500 tonnes.”  

Bespoke furniture designer Mark Tuckey has been sourcing from Waste Converters for over 10 years.

“These recycled materials are an important part of our product range. The real benefit is that the materials are re-worked at the site into a state which allows us to easily use them. They remove the nails and machine them ready for use,” said Tuckey.

Joost Sustainable restaurateurs Joost Bakker and Shannon Bennett have incorporated recycled products into their high-end restaurant fit-outs.

The Greenhouse eco-restaurants in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth incorporated many items from Waste Converters depot.

“The interior fit out was built from broken down timber boxes and packing crates, much of it salvaged from Waste Converters” said Bakker.

“We have used Kenworth truck engine pallets for tables and chairs, Ford banners for furniture upholstery and plastic pallets and plywood for floor detailing.  Even our platters are made from recycled baking trays from Cadbury’s and plywood salvaged from Viridian Glass was used by David Bromley as a canvas for a large painting behind the bar. The Greenhouse demonstrates that the technology to live sustainably is readily available”.

Shannon Bennett commented that Waste Converters allowed him the opportunity to use products in his restaurant fit-outs that others have tossed to the side. He said: “Waste Converters has been supplying me with all manner of recycled items for many years to use in my restaurant Vue de Monde and also in the fit out of some of my other venues.”

Waste Converters accepts timber, garden, construction and demolition waste. Products developed on-site include; timber products such as pallets, crates boxes and pegs; aggregate; mulch; compost and soil. Companies including, GM Holden, IVECO Trucks, Aldi Food stores, Viridian Glass and CEVA Logistics use the recycling services.

 

Source : www.architectureanddesign.com.au