Epson turns a new page in its waste to resource efforts

Cleanaway’s partnership with Epson is a story that starts with damaged timber pallets and ends with a sustainable alternative to coal.

Our Services - Resource Recovery

December 14, 2021

Highlights

"By partnering with Cleanaway, we are now able to recycle the hundreds of wooden pallets at our Yennora warehouse. This is very much a win-win situation – a win for the environment and a win for Epson"

Highlights

"By partnering with Cleanaway, we are now able to recycle the hundreds of wooden pallets at our Yennora warehouse. This is very much a win-win situation – a win for the environment and a win for Epson"

Epson’s Distribution Centre in Yennora had a problem that stretched all the way to the ceiling. Approximately 2,000 timber pallets were piling up in the warehouse and congesting the loading dock, and as a stopgap measure the pallets were headed straight to landfill via the general waste bin.

Pictured: Stockpile of damaged timber pallets at Epson’s Distribution Centre in Yennora.

Seeking a more feasible and sustainable solution, Epson registered for the NSW EPA Bin Trim Program through Cleanaway’s Centre for Sustainability in October 2020. The first Bin Trim assessment conducted later in the year shed light on an astonishing fact – an average of 100-150 broken and non-standardised timber pallets were being generated each week. This was equivalent to an annual estimate of 580 tonnes* of damaged and non-standardised timber pallets that could be diverted from landfill through a dry waste to energy service.

Through the NSW EPA Bin Trim Program, Cleanaway’s Centre for Sustainability partnered with Cleanaway ResourceCo to set up a 30m skip bin at the Yennora Distribution Centre as an on-call service. The skip bin accommodates around 100 pallets and helps Epson not only clear its stockpiled pallets but repurpose them into Processed Engineered Fuel (PEF) – a fuel source that is a sustainable alternative to coal – at Cleanaway ResourceCo’s Resource Recovery Facility (RRF) in Wetherill Park, NSW.

Pictured: Epson Yennora DC Warehouse Manager Aaron Christy assessing the timber pallets before loading them into the skip bin for Cleanaway ResourceCo.

“Epson was recently voted the number one sustainable company by Forbes Japan and we are constantly looking for ways to recycle, reuse and repair. By partnering with Cleanaway, we are now able to recycle the hundreds of wooden pallets at our Yennora warehouse. This is very much a win-win situation – a win for the environment and a win for Epson knowing these are no longer going to landfill,” said Epson Australia’s Human Resource & Environment Manager Garry Pearce.

Epson has plans to broaden their recycling initiatives and this includes developing new in-house technology. One such technology is Epson’s proprietary PaperLab – the world’s first in-office paper secure recycler.

“PaperLab technology breaks used paper down into microfibres, separates out the ink and then re-creates clean paper ready for use. This technology is groundbreaking as unlike traditional paper recyclers, Epson’s process doesn’t require huge volumes of water. The technology also has the potential to be used in packaging to create a sustainable alternative to polystyrene,” said Garry.

*Calculated by the NSW EPA Bin Trim Application’s conversion metrics including averages on material densities.

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