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Down memory lane: How Brisbane landmarks are being recycled into roads

Next time you’re driving on some of Brisbane’s roads you might be travelling over the remains of some of the city’s most iconic buildings.

Feb 18, 2022, updated Feb 18, 2022
Local company Rino Recycling is using demolished buildings - such as the former Ballymore rugby grandstands - for road upgrades around Brisbane. (Image: Peter Wallis)

Local company Rino Recycling is using demolished buildings - such as the former Ballymore rugby grandstands - for road upgrades around Brisbane. (Image: Peter Wallis)

Recycled concrete from demolished buildings such as the Bulimba Barracks, Queensland’s home of rugby Ballymore Stadium and the Mater Hospital are being used in a road upgrade project at Hamilton Northshore.

The concrete forms the base materials for the road upgrades in a recycling success story that could provide the foundations for Brisbane’s future development.

Local company Rino Recycling is using the demolition material in a variety of ways, saying it was a better option than simply sending it to landfill.

“This is the future of development, utilising material that has been used before, to start again,” Rino’s general manager Daniel Blaser said.

“The story only gets better when we share where the materials have come from, it invokes a sense of nostalgia, knowing that certain roads have a history. 

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“The base for Cedar Road (Northshore) for example comes from concrete out of the Mater Hospital, stands from Ballymore and the Bulimba Barracks.”

Blaser said Queensland had low recycling recovery rates compared with other states due to their long standing landfill levies.

While the state had much ground to make up, it has made a practice of using waste and spoil produced from the various road tunnels constructed in Brisbane in recent years as a base for the Gateway Motorway upgrade at Brisbane Airport.

However, the infrastructure pipeline for south-east Queensland over the next 25 years amounts to about $65 billion of development, from Cross River Rail to Olympics-related projects, offering plenty of opportunity to recycle construction an demolition waste..

Queensland’s waste levy was only introduced in 2019, but it is aimed at reducing waste disposed through landfill from 55 per cent now to 10 per cent by 2050. 

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