A new machine that acts as a crusher and industrial shredder is being hailed as a game changer for waste reduction.
The Hammbreaker has been available in Australia for 12 months, with 10 in operation here and 30 more on order according to distributor Craig Wills, the general manager of Jaws Crushers.
He said the powerful machine could handle nearly 90 per cent of the waste stream including concrete, metal, wood, green waste and tyres – allowing owners to reduce it, recycle it or sell the by-product.
“I’ve been selling equipment for 20 years and this machine has overtaken everything we’ve done,” Mr Wills said.
“This is the No.1 bit of equipment we have now (in terms of demand).
“I sell jaw crushers. The problem is to put material through a jaw crusher – especially C&D (construction and demolition) waste like concrete and brick – you have had to spend hours preparing the material to feed it through the jaw.
“With this machine you don’t have to do that, so the processing time is eliminated. You directly feed it into the shaft stem.
“For example, if you had a large piece of concrete the size of a front door you would have to break it up into pieces the size if a steering wheel or smaller in the previous machines.
“With this machine, you don’t have to do that – you can put it directly in the shaft and it can find a way to break it down.
“We have been selling a crusher and a shredder at around $400,000 each for the guys who want to do waste with concrete – you had to have both of these machines.
“Now I can sell one machine that does both jobs for $279,000. It has changed the landscape on how people can minimise waste.”
Those already in use in Australia include one at Collinsville, where a contractor has used it to break down packaging and other waste from solar farm construction work.
“We have small businesses buying them – like skip bin companies, demolition companies, waste facilities… The price opens it right up for local government to reduce landfill,” he said.
Mr Wills said the planned reintroduction of a waste levy in Queensland was among the factors driving demand in the state.
The levy will begin on July 1 at a rate of $75 per tonne for general waste, $155 per tonne for Category 1 regulated waste and $105 per tonne for Category 2 regulated waste.
“A lot of smaller guys that own yards and transport waste to the tips have to reduce that waste stream,” Mr Wills said.
Bugeja Earthmoving in Far North Queensland is among those lining up for a machine.
Owner Peter Bugeja said he had ordered one, which should arrive in April/May, and he hoped to have a second Hammbreaker by Christmas.
It would divert the vast majority of waste generated by earthmoving activities from landfill, he said.
“With this machine you can take 99 per cent of what you generate from digging footings and demolition waste and you can recycle the whole lot,” Mr Bugeja said.
The business already separates timber and steel for recycling and would now be able to crush materials such as concrete and rock into products that could be re-used, he said.
Mr Wills discovered the machine and met Hammbreaker founder Norbert Hammel at a Bauma trade fair.
“I was going to buy a $1 million machine for a client in Queensland, then right across the road only 10m away from the machine I was buying I saw this display and thought ‘that’s interesting’,” he said.
“When I found the price of the Hammbreaker and what it could do I couldn’t believe it.”