Grifco understands that sustainability is about more than just reducing waste; it is vital for the growth of Australia’s local manufacturing industry.
For this reason, Grifco has committed to a sustainability roadmap, with the following key initiatives:
- Zero waste to landfill by 2025
- 100% recyclable packaging by 2025
- Carbon Neutral by 2025
- Water conservation
- Prolonging product lifespan and providing equipment recovery solutions
In our day-to-day, we have an extensive recycling program in place, but Grifco has now taken it one step further.
We spoke with Graeme Sheekey, Director of Operations and New Geographies at The Chamberlain Group, to learn about Grifco’s new pallet recycling initiative; an integral part of Grifco’s zero waste strategy.
Tell us about the pallet recycling initiative at Grifco
As part of Grifco’s sustainability journey, we’re looking at how much waste goes to landfill from our manufacturing facility. Before we began pallet recycling, we wanted to reduce wood waste to start with, this involved working with suppliers overseas to redesign wood waste out of their packaging and also redesigning the pallet so we could re-use in Australia. 80 per cent (weight-wise) of the waste generated by the factory is currently recycled; all steel off-cuts from machining go straight into the recycler. The remaining 20 per cent – consisting of pallet (15 per cent) and plastics (five per cent) – was going to landfill.
By finding a way of to recycle the remaining wood from the pallet, we’re left with only five per cent waste from our Gosford factory. Plastics are our final obstacle to reaching zero waste.
That’s amazing! Was it difficult to find a solution for the pallets? Wood sounds like something that should be easy to recycle.
I know, it’s crazy – it took me over six months to find someone that could recycle it! Surprisingly, there are very few companies that have the technology and capabilities to recycle wood.
And then we found ReDirect.
How do you work with ReDirect? What is the process?
Initially, ReDirect audited our wood waste to see if it complied with their standard and, thankfully, almost all of it did. Once this was done, ReDirect were able to fit seamlessly into our existing processes.
Our wood pallets waste is placed in a 15 square metre bin in our car park – previously used for general rubbish – and then collected by ReDirect and transported to their facility for processing.
What happens in the recycling process?
Once the wood waste has been sorted at the facility, the waste material is extracted and turned into woodchip. This woodchip is then repurposed into a number of products, including animal bedding and the manufacture of particleboard for the building and joinery industries. Wood waste collection is done at Somersby facility, right here on the Central Coast!
How long has this initiative been underway?
We’ve been recycling with ReDirect since June of this year. However, Grifco has a longstanding commitment to sustainability, and we’ve been investigating recycling options for years prior to finding ReDirect.
Now that you’ve tackled pallets recycling, what’s the next stage in Grifco’s sustainability journey?
Our next step towards fulfilling our zero waste goal is soft plastic recycling. Once we find a solution for this, we’ll save another tonne of waste per year.
We are hoping to partner with iQRenew, who have a pilot facility at Tuggerah. They are currently waiting on local council to approve some additional infrastructure; once this is in place, they’ll be able to recycle our plastic waste. We have also recently found two other options which we are investigating.
reDirect Wood Recycling has been established to provide a closed loop wood recycling service and offers efficient and complete single source wood recovery management.
This initiative creates an industrial ecology which processes the waste and aims to close the loop on raw and engineered wood products via a sustainable product life cycle.
If you’d like to learn more about Grifco’s products, innovation and services in Australia or New Zealand, please feel free to browse our website or call 1800 GRIFCO (1800 474 326).