Kinder rolls out a most palatable solution
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' sites.
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 cross-linked polymer.
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:
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 initiatives."