Council makes bricks from polystyrene packaging


It is now free to take expanded polystyrene packaging to Fraser Coast Regional Council landfill and transfer stations.

“Council has bought a machine that melts the polystyrene into bricks so it does not go to landfill,” Cr David Lee said.

“The machine has four main benefits – it diverts polystyrene from landfill which saves space in the landfill; creates a product that can be reused to make other products; cuts the cost for residents to dispose of rubbish and saves Council money.

“While polystyrene does not weigh a lot, it takes up a lot of space in landfill. The more we can divert from landfill the longer our landfill sites will last.

“The bricks can be further processed to produce a range of products such as composite decking, picture frames and skirting boards.

“While we do not expect to make money from selling the bricks, we anticipate we will cover the cost of operating the melting machine.

“The savings for residents are great news. Previously you would have paid to dispose of polystyrene.

“If you turned up with the packing from a new TV or washing machine there was no charge for the cardboard and plastic strapping, but you would have paid $5 (the minimum fee) to get rid of the polystyrene packaging.

“Now it is free for residents to drop off up to one cubic metre (a standard trailer load) of clean polystyrene.

“Loads larger than one cubic metre will cost $5 per cubic metre.

“Commercial clients with loads bigger than 10 cubic metres can contact the waste facilities to determine pricing.”

The cost of transporting the material from Maryborough to Hervey Bay has also been covered.

“There is really no cost to transport the material from Maryborough to Hervey Bay as we use it as backload in the empty trucks that are returning to Nikenbah after unloading at the Saltwater Creek Landfill.”

The machine uses two processes to convert polystyrene into high density bricks. A series of blades cuts the product into small pieces to be fed into the melter which then extrudes a sausage of soft material into the brick mould.

“The process reduces the volume of polystyrene by 90%,” Cr Lee said.

Clean polystyrene products can be taken to the Recycling Shed at the Nikenbah and Maryborough waste facilities.

Initially Council will collect polystyrene at the Nikenbah and Saltwater Creek sites.

“Eventually we hope to be able to collect polystyrene from all sites,” he said.