Magnet attracts resource recovery

Monday, 05 September, 2005

Hundreds of tonnes of ferrous metals are being diverted from landfill by a giant magnet at the Jacks Gully Waste and Recycling Centre operated by WSN Environmental Solutions at Narellan, NSW.

The magnet, which is 90 cm in diameter, is attached to the arm of an excavator and is passed over dry commercial waste recently disposed of at the tip face. The magnet picks up ferrous material, such as remnants of steel piping, and separates it for recycling.

It is expected that up to 75 tonnes of metal per month will be recovered by the magnet, saving precious resources and landfill space. Recycling 75 tonnes of steel saves around 65,400 kg of iron ore, 36,600 kg of coal and 3075 kg of limestone.

Jacks Gully Waste and Recycling Centre manager Scott Hagan said the staff at the centre were proactive in developing effective methods of resource recovery. "We noticed that there was a lot of ferrous metal in the dry waste that was being delivered to Jacks Gully, and saw this as an opportunity to do something positive," he said.

"The environmental benefits of this project are considerable," he added. "Metals can take up to 50 years to break down in a landfill. By extracting and recycling metal from the landfill, natural resources are preserved, resources are recovered and reused, and landfill space is saved."

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