Kinder & Co, one of Australia's leading
suppliers to the mining and manufacturing industry, has again
broken new ground in recycling –
this time with the conversion of their customer's used polymer
conveyor rollers into shipping pallets.
This cradle-to-cradle initiative means that after years of hauling
bulk materials to reach the end of their useful life, Kinder's
K-Polymer Rollers are 're-born' once they are returned to the
company's headquarters in the Melbourne suburb of Braeside.
The rollers are shredded, granulated and mixed with a special
formula before being extruded into recycled lengths, which are then cut to
size and assembled to become composite pallets. These
'born-again' super-strong, long-life pallets are then
used for transporting new loads of rollers back to the clients'
Meanwhile, thousands of tonnes of timber are saved as the demand
for wooden pallets
becomes inversely proportional to the composites.
For Kinder & Co, the recycle
process has been made possible through a commercial arrangement
with Australian Composite Technology of Somerton, Victoria which
has developed specialised technology to handle complex recycling processes, including
Roger Sweeney, Director of Australian Composite
Technology, says his system - which has taken nearly 15 years
to perfect - has many benefits, including the need to preserve the
world's forests – the traditional starting place for pallet manufacturing. There
is also, Sweeny points out, the difficulty and expense in actually
sourcing timber today.
Furthermore, says Sweeny, composite material:
- Offers a longer product life cycle due to immunity from marine,
insect and fungal attacks.
- Can be manufactured to produce non-slip, high friction features
for grip and safety.
- Can be recycled indefinitely.
- Can produce comparable products at similar cost to quality
hardwood timber and at much lower cost than steel and concrete
- Can be nailed, screwed, bolted, stapled and glued.
- Does not stain offering superior product protection during
- Can be colored by direct die injection or colored
- Requires no fumigation when used in an export environment.
- Can be totally fireproofed without the use of chemicals.
Kinder's recycled pallets have
sparked much interest - not only among company's clients but other
industries that have relied on wooden pallets for decades.
As one of Kinder & Co's longest serving and pro-actively
environmentally conscious clients, TRUenergy Yallourn has recently
started utilising these recycled
pallets and are finding the pallets to be a very good fit with
their environmental policy.
In addition to the numerous waste minimisation strategies employed
in their lengthy business relationship, TRUenergy
Yallourn was one of the ground-breakers to recognise the unique
benefits that Polymer rollers offered over their steel equivalents.
This latest innovative Kinder environmental initiative to offer
full cradle-to-cradle products, is commended and supported by
TRUenergy via their continued usage of Kinder K-Polymer Rollers
& Recycled Pallets.
Recycling is not a new phenomenon at Kinder. The company enshrines
environmental care in all of its corporate decision-making
processes and industrial practice. When named Supplier of the Year
at the 2008 Australian Bulk Handling Awards, Kinder's commitment to
a cleaner environment through recycling was
cited widely in trade journals and other media.
CEO Neil Kinder who manages the most comprehensive range of stock
belt conveyor hardware in the country as well as liaising with
suppliers and clients overseas, says he is delighted with the
Kinder-ACT link. "We take pride in being solution-driven in the
world of bulk materials handling," says Kinder. "But in this day
and age with the global environmental sustainability
imperatives, no company can afford to accept the status quo.
Kinder sees nothing special about environmental care being at the core
of his company's business plans."This is not just about new taxes,
carbon credits and the emissions trading scheme," he says. "It is
about companies being good stewards for those who will come after
us. We don't want them in 20 years time to have to have a massive
repair bill in a seriously compromised world caused by the apathy,
ignorance or lack of vision of today's industry captains.
"Perhaps in some ways this is what business leadership is all
about – to have vision and the ability to identify how to do things
better, the readiness to partner with people who have the expertise
to help and the confidence and the will to carry through new