Australasia – Around 200 000 car bumpers are landfilled across New Zealand every year, with 1400 tonnes of them either stockpiled or dumped in 2016 alone. However, ‘this may become a thing of the past’, says recycler 3R following the launch of its dedicated recycling scheme.
On the first day of its trial programme in Christchurch, around 150 car bumpers – comprised mostly of polypropylene – were sent for recycling.
‘Bumpers are very bulky, meaning they take up a lot of room in landfills and are a wasted resource,’ comments 3R’s group operations manager Trevor Tutt. The company is currently testing which recycling process is most suitable and is looking at, for example, granulating the bumpers and using the material as an additive in other products or as an aggregate in concrete.
New Zealand’s Motor Trade Association (MTA) is backing the recycling initiative, together with a group of collision repair businesses.
‘Car bumpers are a giant headache for our industry,’ laments Craig Pomare, chief executive of the MTA (see picture). ‘Tens of thousands of damaged bumpers are sent off to landfills around the country each year or stacked up in yards and paddocks. We are delighted that there is a chance to start recycling and reusing them and fully support 3R’s trial.’
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of car ownership per capita in the world, according to 3R.