Purposely greener infrastructure

The Victorian Government is committed to optimising the use of recycled and reused Victorian materials across all rail and road construction through the Ecologiq initiative and the Recycled First Policy.

Victoria’s Big Build is delivering 165 projects and provides a crucial opportunity to drive significant change in the reuse of waste material.

The Ecologiq program was created to fulfil this aim as an initiative of the Big Build and is working across government to optimise the use of recycled and reused materials in the construction and maintenance of infrastructure assets.

The Recycled First Policy is the first step to achieving this and requires bidders on infrastructure projects to demonstrate how they will optimise their use of sustainable materials.

The policy brings a uniform approach to the existing ad hoc use of recycled and reused products on major transport infrastructure projects, and aims to drive greater use of these materials, encourage innovation and develop demand for recycled and reused materials.

Recycled First will apply to the use of recycled and reused materials that meet existing standards and specifications for road and rail projects. It will see optimised use of recycled aggregates, glass, plastic, timber, steel, ballast, crushed brick, crumb rubber, reclaimed asphalt pavement and organics, instead of virgin materials.

The policy will not set mandatory minimum requirements or targets. Instead, a project by project approach will allow contractors to liaise with recycled materials suppliers to determine if there are adequate supplies of the necessary products for their project.

The Recycled First Policy requires that for these projects:

  • bidders must demonstrate how they will optimise the use of recycled and reused materials
  • contractors must report on the types and volumes of recycled and reused products they used.

Recycled First requirements will be built into future projects across the Big Build, which is delivering a $80 billion infrastructure program to ensure Victoria’s transport network can meet future demand.

Ecologiq is supporting the implementation of Recycled First.

While this becomes a standard procurement practice, Ecologiq will work with the Victorian Government and industry to address barriers and raise awareness and support for waste materials. Ecologiq will also provide education and training in the use of recycled materials and help build a sustainable market for this content.

This is just the start of several initiatives designed to help Victorian businesses to grow in new ways and create high-value jobs in advanced recycling and construction technologies.

For more information, please sign up for updates below or email: ecologiq@roadprojects.vic.gov.au