UNSW’s hot tip to diminish the dump

A survey for UNSW finds 70 per cent of people think Australia should, “invest in new technology to re-form waste into high value materials for re-use.”

How fortunate then that UNSWs has developed the very thing they want. Veena Sahajwalla and colleagues are developing transportable shipping-container size micro-factory technology, which breaks down waste and uses a precise temperature furnace to transform components into reusable materials. The Australian Research Council funded project has built an e-waste facility, with a second that transforms glass and plastic into building material imminent.

The university says for plastics or metal modules there would be a return on the $300 000 capital investment within three years.

Micro-factory technology delivers triple-bottom line benefits of sustainability, job creation and significant economic revenue. It has the potential to play an important role in meeting the national waste crisis, will enhance Australia’s reputation as a hub of innovation and can deliver economic opportunity for ordinary Australian workers and businesses, the universe stated in a submission to the Senate inquiry on waste and recycling this year.


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