POLYSTYRENE will be spared from landfill and instead recycled into building products through a new Mount Gambier Waste Transfer Station project.
City Council recently invested in a $30,000 polystyrene recycling machine for the site, which condenses the common packaging material to a factor of 90 times.
“Imagine 90 boxes full of polystyrene condensed down to one,” council environment sustainability officer Aaron Izzard said.
After being condensed, the polystyrene is then transported from the city and used to create building products such as skirting.
“This product is something that has been going to landfill because there has been no other option for it until now,” Mr Izzard said.
“Previously people would just squash the product and put it in their bins so it was not something that was easy to measure.
“But now the public can come and drop it off we will have an idea on how much it will save council.”
Waste Transfer Station and Re-Use Market operator Tanis Alexander said the machine has made a difference at the station.
“We have the two large cages the customers put their polystyrene in over at the shed,” Ms Alexander said.
“Within the two months we have had the machine we have done around five to six cages.”
Residents can take polystyrene products to the Waste Transfer Station to be processed.
“We are encouraging customers to remove all aspects of rubbish on their polystyrene products to ensure we can process the products accurately,” Ms Alexander said.
“There is quite a lot of work behind removing sticky tape, stickers and other things that cannot be processed.
“It must also be dry otherwise it comes out black.”
The processed products will be placed into pallets until a truck load is stored which is then transported to Adelaide for further processing.
Mount Gambier’s Independent Learning Centre has also been involved in processing at the Re-Use Market, including using the new machinery.