Victorian manufacturing firm Integrated Recycling has had its Duratrack railway sleepers made from recycled plastic laid at Richmond train station, near the centre of Melbourne’s railway network.
Integrated Recycling turns plastic that would have otherwise gone to landfill into sleepers at its plant in Mildura.
The Victorian government has invested $630 000 in the development of the sleepers through its grant programs administered by Sustainability Victoria.
The sleepers cost half the price of traditional timber sleepers, have a lifespan of up to 50 years and require less maintenance than their wooden counterparts.
The sleepers installed at Richmond are the first of 200 to be installed across the rail network in an 18-month trial.
Until now, the Duratrack sleepers produced by Integrated Recycling have been in use on tourist and heritage railways in Victoria, after being certified by Monash University’s Institute of Railway Technology.
The trial will test the sleeper’s suitability to be rolled out across the wider Victorian rail network. Each kilometre of track installed diverts 64 tonnes of plastic waste from landfill.
“This project is a great example of the circular economy we’re creating through innovation and rethinking a product we use everyday,” said Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.