Media Release: Recycling powerlines raises $75,000 for charities

20 July, 2017

​Some innovative thinking around the decommissioning of a powerline is helping to support community organisations in the Mallee region.

When our crews in Mildura, Ouyen and Horsham were asked to remove a large section of industrial line near Ouyen, they decided to recycle the materials and donate the funds to charity.

Mildura Field Leader Aaron Hughes said the idea came from Construction Project Leader Robert Sloper, a finalist in the 2017 Living our Values Awards.

“The line was constructed in 2011 to power Iluka’s Kulwin mine and had a five-year lifespan, which was the expected life of the mine,” Mr Hughes said.

“There was about 40 kilometres of conductor wire to take down and because it was premium quality aluminium our Construction Project Leader Robert Sloper identified the potential to sell it off for recycling,” he said.

Employees from Mildura, Ouyen and Horsham volunteered their time and local businesses and community members got on board to help take down the line and wind it up by hand.

The aluminium conductor was sold to a metal merchant and is suitable to be re-smelted into items ranging from fridges and microwaves to medical equipment.

The sale raised $76,000 – $35,000 of which was contributed to the Ouyen recreational lake project for a kiosk and picnic area, $17,500 to Headspace Mildura and the remainder for projects in the Horsham area.

Mildura headspace clinician Hannah Cairns said the contribution to the youth organisation was a great community gesture.

“The money will go towards helping us raise awareness and reach more young people through some innovative community engagement projects, including a regional cricket round over the summer,” she said.

“But we’re also excited that we’ll be able to get another important program off the ground that’s been in the planning stages for a while, which is a youth-led community awareness initiative about connecting with friends and family.”