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A 'pallatable' solution - recycling old conveyor parts

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Conveyor specialists Kinder & Co are doing something a little out of the ordinary with their used conveyor parts. 

In the Melbourne suburb of Braeside the company is converting their customers' rollers into recycled shipping pallets

The initiative means that after years of bulk handling the worn rollers are reborn to serve a second purpose. 

Kinder says after reaching the end of their useful life, the conveyor rollers are shredded, granulated, and mixed with a special formula. 
The material is then recycled into new lengths, cut to size, and rebuilt into pallets. 

The born again pallets are then used by the company to transport new loads of rollers back to clients, completing the cycle. 

Kinder said the entire process had reduced costs and saved "thousands of tonnes of timber" that would otherwise be needed to build pallets. 

In a statement the company said the recycling process had been made possible through a commercial arrangement with Victoria-based Australian Composite Technology. 

ACT director Roger Sweeney said the process involved specialised technology that had taken nearly 15 years to perfect. 

Sweeney said the recycled pallets offered many benefits to companies, extending beyond the preservation of the world's forests, which were the "traditional starting place for pallet manufacturing". 

He said the pallets had a longer life cycle due to immunity from ­marine, insect, and fungal attacks. 

He also said they could be "recycled indefinitely," and be manufactured to produce non-slip features for grip and safety. 

The pallets can be totally fireproofed without the use of chemicals, and don't need to be fumigated in an export environment. 

Kinder said the pallets had sparked interest not only from clients, but also from businesses and companies that have traditionally relied on wooden pallets. 

It listed local energy provider TRUenergy as one prominent business that had taken them on. 

"As one of Kinder & Co's longest serving and environmentally conscious clients, TRUenergy has recently started utilising these recycled pallets and is finding them a very good fit with their environmental policy," it said. 

Kinder CEO Neil Kinder said in a statement the recycled pallets were only one move in a series of environmentally conscious steps for the company. 

"Recycling is not a new phenomenon at Kinder," he said. 

"In this day and age with the global environmental sustainability imperatives, no company can afford to accept the status quo." 

But Kinder also said the initiative was not only about the economic incentives. 

"This is not just about new taxes, carbon credits and the emissions trading scheme," he said. 

"It's 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. 

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