A Sydney timber frame and truss manufacturer recently bought two timber recycling bins and received half the cost of them back from NSW Government as part of a program to help small and medium-sized business reduce waste and recycle more.

Trueform Frames and Trusses is owned by the Twitchen family and located at Mulgrave in Sydney. For the last 20 years Bill, Sadie and Mark Twitchen have fabricated frames and trusses for many of the new homes being built in Sydney’s North West priority growth area.

While Trueform recycle the untreated pine offcuts and sawdust generated by the manufacturing process, a cost-effective system for recycling the offcuts of termite treated H2F and engineered woods hadn’t been found. Or so they thought.

Local timber recyclers and environmental management consultants Stephen Mitchell Associates have recently assisted Trueform in providing a tailored recycling solution which is providing real benefits to his business and the environment.

“We already recycle some of our untreated pine offcuts which are picked up by the National Parks Service to place next to BBQs in local campgrounds.” says Trueform’s managing director Mark Twitchen.  “We tried separating out the termite treated pine offcuts a few years ago but it proved to be more expensive than disposal.

“Following a visit from Joe Tesoriero of Advantage Recycling we discussed some options and thought some high capacity wheeled tippler bins under the primary component saw would work well. These could be loaded by our forklift into a larger recycling bin. Stephen Mitchell made me aware of the Bin Trim recycling equipment rebate scheme so we worked together to design the bins we needed and get approval from the EPA for a rebate for the tippler bins if we went ahead and ordered.”

Two 2 cubic metre open top tippler bins on castors have been fabricated and are placed in rotation under the offcuts conveyor of the main truss component saw. They allow the easy collection of all timber offcuts – untreated pine, termite treated H2F bluepine, glulam and LVL timber offcuts.

Once full, the tippler bin is easily wheeled away from the main cutting area and then forklifted into a 10m3 dedicated wood recycling bin provided by Advantage Recycling.

The two tippler bins cost $3840 (ex GST) and Trueform were able to get 50 percent ($1920) of this reimbursed via the NSW EPA Bin Trim rebate scheme.

Stephen Mitchell of Stephen Mitchell Associates helped Trueform get the rebate by filling out the necessary forms and doing the calculations needed to justify the rebate.

“This NSW Government rebate system is great for wood manufactures with less than 250 employees who are still disposing timber to landfill,” Mitchell says. “Another manufacturer in Sydney and a pallet manufacturer in Newcastle area are currently developing rebate applications.

“While I’ve found that most wood manufacturers in Sydney already have timber recycling in place a few haven’t – often due to space or logistic issues or lacking some equipment to help collect offcuts. This rebate programme is something more business should take advantage of while the offer is there.”

The rebate can be for recycling bins, small shredders or any other small equipment that will help a company recover wood for recycling. A stipulation is that the wood has to be going to landfill and the extra equipment will divert it from landfill into other legal uses. The rebate provided is up to $50,000.

Bincorp Equipment at Wetherill Park fabricated the tippler bins for Trueform. Joe Tesoriero of Advantage Recycling says it’s very important that the tippler bin castors are in the correct position and that the bins are compatible with the main recycling bin. This is to ensure that the bins can be easily moved into position and so the tipping process is quick and safe.

“It’s the finer details, which are often client specific, that ensure that a recycling programs works successfully.” says Tesoriero.

Advantage Recycling arrange transport of the timber offcuts to D&R Henderson’s timber recycling facility at Riverstone. There the timber offcuts are given a primary shred and loaded on trucks for transport to Benalla in Victoria. The wood is flaked and incorporated in new particleboard products which are sold to joineries, frame & truss fabricators and builders around Australia.

Paul Finn manages D&R Henderson’s recycling operations at Riverstone and receives wood offcuts from many frame and truss fabricators in Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast and now the Illawarra. “We can recycle all the offcuts that no other recycler can take” Finn says.

For Twitchen, the whole system is reducing waste disposal costs by about 50 percent.

“So the tippler bins pay for themselves in pretty short order,” he says. “These tippler bins are such a success I am considering purchasing another to capture offcuts from my other cutting area.”

Advantage Recycling is also working with Trueform to introduce screening of all sawdust, treated and untreated, to remove chunky wood offcuts so all the sawdust can be used by a local industrial recycler.

“It helps that we now have good outlets in Sydney for the diverse types of wood offcuts that frame and truss manufacturers produce as well as a range of logistics solutions.” said Mitchell.

“While many companies in Sydney already recycle much of their wood waste, the Bin Trim rebate program is helping tip over (pardon the pun) the last few wood product manufacturers into recycling most of their wood waste.”

The Industrial Ecology and Bin Trim Programmes are NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiatives funded from the waste levy.

For more information on timber recycling in Sydney contact Stephen Mitchell – Principal of Stephen Mitchell Associates – on 0432 860 100 and steve@smassociates.com.au