BRISBANE scrap metal king Todd Wanless has made a multimillion-dollar investment in new machinery in preparation for the State Government’s controversial waste levy.
Mr Wanless, who owns Wacol-based Raw Metal Corp, has installed a European-made hammermill shredder machine that aims to extract as much metal as possible from the recycling process.
Mr Wanless said that because Australia had so little manufacturing, he received very few loads of uncontaminated metal scrap from factories.
He said that meant he had to rely on old fridges, cars and electronics that were contaminated with non-ferrous material such as plastic and glass as well as dirt and oil.
“About 30 per cent of the light gauge steel we process is waste which we can’t recycle,” said Mr Wanless last week as he watched the shredder machine separate metal from an assortment of plastic, dirt and other materials.
“What I am trying to do is extract as much value as possible because I am going to have to a pay a levy on the waste (that has to be dumped).”
Mr Wanless said the proposed waste levy, which comes into force on July 1, means every tonne of waste that enters landfill would be taxed.
He said he was now exploring ways to re-use the waste from the metal recycling process including possibly as a building material.
“I have had discussions with the University of Queensland about reusing the waste and we are looking at alternatives to dumping it in landfill,” he said.
About 3000 tonnes of recycled metal a month is now shipped from the Wacol site bound for steel mills in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Thailand and Indonesia.
“We are exporting about 45-50 shipping containers a week,” he said.
“A lot is going to Indonesia where there are about 40 mills. It is one of our closest neighbours so to ship it up there only takes about 10 days.”
Mr Wanless said employee numbers had almost doubled over the last three years to 26 to cope with increased activity.
He also has opened a cafe at the site to cater for truck drivers, staff and other customers.
Originally published via The Courier Mail.