Evaluating Aluminium Composite Panel Recycling Solutions in Australia
Over the past 24 months, the removal and replacement of non-compliant Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) from Australian buildings has been a hot topic. Councils and local government bodies have been working with installers to remove four million square-metres of combustible cladding from affected buildings across Australia as quickly as possible.
Removing non-compliant cladding is important but so is what happens to the four million square metres of ACP waste that is removed during the cladding rectification process. Many installers are still not aware of available aluminium composite recycling solutions available to avoid cladding waste going to landfill.
Using aluminium composite panel recycling services is a wonderful way to make a green mark and demonstrate social and environmental responsibility. Repurposing ACP and other construction waste should be at the forefront of rectification project planning, contributing to the creation of true circular economy outcomes.
So, what is Aluminium Composite Panel (ACP) Recycling?
Aluminium Composite Panels consist of multiple materials, including aluminium skins, a polyethylene (PE) core and ferrous metal fixings. Rather than waste these resources, ACP recycling separates the components of the panel, so they can be redistributed to manufacturers and repurposed into new products.
What points should you consider when it comes to Aluminium Composite Panel Recycling?
When evaluating whether an ACP recycling solution is right for your rectification project, you should consider the following four areas to ensure you minimise landfill use and contribute to Australia’s sustainability goals.
- Transport. How will the waste get from your construction site to the recycling facility and what specific containment needs must be met.
- Recycling. Does the recycling solution selection include full recycling? This is something to look out if you want to be confident that you are not contributing to landfill. Aside from the panels themselves, there are other materials which need to be recycled such as screws, fixings, paint and more.
- Reuse. For peace of mind, ask how the recycled materials will be used and how they are introduced back into the supply chain.
- Cost. This is an especially important consideration to ensure that recycling becomes a consistent part of your strategy. Make sure you include costs into your tendering estimates and that you understand the full financial commitment associated with combustible panels.
Ecoloop, Australia’s First ACP Recycling Solution
Ecoloop, the Aluminium Composite Panel recycling program from Fairview, was Australia’s first ACP recycling facility, pioneering recycling solutions for cladding waste in Australia. Ecoloop achieves 100% diversion from landfill, with a holistic ACP recycling process that ensures every part of the aluminium panel is recycled or given new life, creating an effective way to conserve resources and preserve the environment.
What is the Ecoloop Recycling Process?
With a dedicated ACP recycling facility in Lithgow, NSW, Ecoloop manages every step of the recycling process. After delivering new product to site, Fairview trucks pick up the non-compliant panels and transports them to the facility – this backload service also helps minimise Fairview’s carbon footprint. The panels are weighed, and all components are shredded into manageable pieces, minimising the need for onsite storage.
The material is then processed through the Ecoloop Separator – which separates the aluminium, polyethylene, and other materials. Each material is sent to manufacturers who can repurpose it into new products, reducing the need to source virgin material for manufacturing.
Benefits of Ecoloop Aluminium Composite Panel Recycling
Ecoloop Provides 100% Diversion from Australian Landfill
While fire safety is of paramount importance, the environmental impacts of ACP removal are now coming into focus. ACPs are non-biodegradable and do not break down in landfill – and therefore builders are seeking environmentally responsible ways of processing them. Aluminium Composite Panel recycling is the ideal cladding waste solution, allowing composite materials to be repurposed and given new life as a resource.
Ecoloop has been engaged in processing and repurposing non-compliant cladding panels since January 2021, helping lessen their environmental impact and provide material resources to a variety of industries.
How are the ACP materials reused?
After the Ecoloop Separator separates out the ACP materials, they are bagged and distributed. Aluminium is sent to a smelter, where it can be machined into new products such as window frames, benches, and other building products. The PE core can be repurposed by plastic manufacturers into plastic bottles, piping, chairs and more, while ferrous metals are sent to a metal recycler to be made into tools and machine components.
Unlike other ACP recycling programs, Ecoloop also ensures non-recyclable materials are diverted to a waste-to-energy process, which not only keeps them out of the landfill, but offsets fossil fuel use.
Ecoloop Shouts Corporate Social Responsibility and Aims to Help Australia Reach Net-Carbon Zero by 2050
As industry leaders, Fairview are committed to Corporate Social Responsibility – making a positive impact on the world. With a range of green cladding products and programs, Fairview are making our contribution towards a Net-Carbon Zero Australia by 2050.
Ecoloop contributes to the circular economy, with a holistic recycling process that reduces emissions and wastage at every stage. Ecoloop capitalises on the versatility of every material, so no part of the panel is wasted, and reduces the need to expend energy processing virgin materials.
Ecoloop is a unique program – the only one in Australia to prevent any element of ACP panels from ending up in landfill.
Make a Real Difference and Choose Ecoloop
If you are serious about recycling and sustainability, you should choose a partner dedicated to making a difference. Fairview revolutionised non-compliant cladding waste disposal, highlighting their commitment to solving the environmental impact of rectification works. Ecoloop is leading the way as the first Aluminium Composite Panel recycler in Australia and is also demonstrating their ability to go beyond to make a positive difference.
In 2021, Ecoloop achieved a Green Star accreditation, certifying it compliant with the Green Building Council of Australia’s Construction and Demolition Waste Reporting Criteria. These criteria, which are assessed by a third-party auditor, ensure waste processing facilities meet Australian standards. You can have confidence that all ACP waste is being effectively processed and contributing to a more circular, sustainable construction industry.
With recladding a prominent feature on the Australian architectural landscape, choosing an effective Aluminium Composite Panel recycling program is crucial. Ecoloop is not only Australia’s original ACP recycling program, but the only program in Australia that can process Fire Resistant (FR) mineral core panels as well as PE core panels.
Ecoloop offers a solution which eliminates waste and consumption of new materials, helping set the construction industry on the path towards better Corporate Social Responsibility.
With a program that guarantees no waste ends up in landfill, industry expertise and a real commitment towards Net-Carbon Zero and to making a difference, Ecoloop is the ideal waste processing solution for recladding projects.