Precycle: Circular Economy in Action in SA (2019)

Precycle: Circular Economy in Action in SA (2019)
  • Circular Economy

Precycle: Circular Economy in Action in SA (2019)

Our business is not to pick up as much as we can each time, as is the case with the business-as-usual model, it’s to pick it up as clean as we can and as sorted as we can, directly from the source, before it becomes contaminated and therefore no longer viable as a recycling/repurposing resource. Word of mouth alone has helped Premier Insulation create Precycle (www.precycle.com.au), a successful service that concentrates on removing and recycling discarded building materials from home construction sites and, importantly, has introduced the concept of the circular economy to an industry that has traditionally seen all waste as just waste. And it’s working. A recent review of the initiative funded through a Green Industries SA (GISA) grant showed an increase in landfill diversion of 76% for the Precycle process compared with 10% for a business-as-usual approach, and a reduction in the number of skip bin empties per house from of 3.8 to 1.1 (or 15m3 of mixed waste to 4.5m3). The twist in the story is that this is far from “business as usual” for the people behind the idea. Our business is not to pick up as much as we can each time, as is the case with the business-as-usual model, it’s to pick it up as clean as we can and as sorted as we can, directly from the source, before it becomes contaminated and therefore no longer viable as a recycling/repurposing resource. “Precycling is common in the retail industry, where it refers to removing the need for bags and packaging,” says Greig. “What we are doing is predetermined recycling Circular Economy in action in South Australia Pre-Cycle2 of building materials from the site at set stages. We’re not recyclers in the traditional sense; we’re just collecting the product and giving it to companies who will end up recycling or repurposing it.” The report suggests that for each Precycle site an estimated 1.4 tonnes of CO2 is avoided and 19.7 GJ of energy and 4.1 kilolitres of water are saved. Based on these figures, it is estimated that for every 10 houses involved with the Precycle process: the greenhouse gas emissions avoided are equivalent to taking 3.1 cars off the road for a year electricity consumptions savings are equivalent to 3.8 households for a year water consumption savings are equivalent to 0.21 households for a year.
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