Did you know that buildings and their users are responsible for almost a quarter of Australia’s greenhouse emissions?

The energy embodied in existing buildings in Australia is equivalent to ten years of energy consumption for the nation, and the choice of materials and design principles has a large, but previously unrecognised, impact on the energy required to construct a building. 

Embodied energy is one measure of the environmental impact of construction and of the effectiveness of recycling, particularly for CO2 emissions.   The contribution that the re-use and recycling industry can make to lower the embodied impacts of buildings is significant.

Building materials account for about half of all materials used and about half the solid waste generated worldwide. A total of 19.0 million tonnes of construction and demolition (C&D) waste was generated in Australia in 2008-09. Of this total waste stream, 8.5 million tonnes was disposed to landfill while 10.5 million tonnes, or 55%, was recovered and recycled. 

One challenge on the recycling and reuse of Foamex Diamond Pod waffle pod offcuts is to educate end users, such as builders and concreters, on the correct use of the pod scrap bags to ensure the EPS offcuts are segregated without contamination from other building site waste.

  Constrution Demolition waste 2      constrution Demolition waste 4        Constrution Demolition waste 

To help easy collection at the job site, Foamex supply scrap bags with the delivery of all Diamond Pods to assist with the separation of EPS from the general waste stream. These scrap bags and any offcuts are picked up by Foamex and transported safely to our manufacturing facility, and granulate it for reuse.

For each Diamond Pod project that Foamex supplies, 2 cubic metres of scrap previously destined for landfill is reclaimed and recycled. For an average of 600 Diamond Pod waffle pod projects across Australia each week, Foamex recovery programs reclaims approximately 1200m3 of polystyrene across the country every week on top of other active reclaiming and recycling efforts we are heavily involved in.

At Foamex, all our polystyrene manufacturing waste is recycled or converted into other products.

References

[1] https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/b0ac5ce4-4253-4d2b-b001-0becf84b52b8/files/case-studies.pdf

[2] https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/national-waste-policy/publications/construction-and-demolition-waste-status-report