Forbes takes lead in recycling boost

Forbes is taking a lead in boosting initiatives to support the recycling industry – diverting tens of thousands of plastic bottles from landfill by choosing to buy 100% recycled plastic drainage pipes.

In a move to improve the environmental efficiency of its quarries, Forbes Shire Council examined ways to use recycled products wherever possible, and found products produced by regional Victorian manufacturer RPM Pipes that are made from 100% recycled plastic, sourced from kerbside waste and manufacturing scrap.

The decision to use RPM pipes for drainage in the quarries will divert the equivalent of 80,000 plastic milk bottles from landfill, RPM Pipes CEO Mr Terry Kay said.

“Our pipes are the around the same price and exactly the same quality as non-recycled pipes that are currently used across Australia, but the big difference is that we recycle the equivalent of up to 5000 milk bottles with every pipe that we sell,” Mr Kay said.

“Forbes Shire Council have recognised that they can create a big win for ratepayers and for the environment – without any compromise on quality or cost.

“We have been producing our pipes for use in agriculture and mining for 20 years, but local government and civil engineering contractors are only starting to hear about us now.

“With major challenges ahead for Australia to improve recycling rates and find solutions for our plastic waste, we’re pretty excited to see councils like Forbes prepared to lead the way and demonstrate support for regional Australian family companies.

“We don’t have money for an army of marketers and big advertising campaigns, so we rely on good word of mouth, with environmental leaders like Forbes Shire Council demonstrating that it’s not hard to make a big impact with recycling plastic.

“We have the capacity to be recycling a million milk bottles each week if other councils choose to reconsider what they use for stormwater drains in parks, quarries and down the sides of almost every street in the country.”

The 192-metre drainage project using 100% recycled stormwater pipe for new drainage is a significant step forward in starting to close the loop for recyclable products.

Forbes Shire Council Mayor Phyllis Miller said Forbes was proud to be leading the way, supporting Australia’s recycling industry.

“Like residents across Forbes, I want to know that the milk bottle left behind after my coffee and the detergent bottle that I have just used up are going to be recycled, not sent to landfill,” Cr Oxley said.

“By choosing to use these 100% recycled pipes from RPM Pipes, Forbes is keen to demonstrate that we can support the recycling sector without any additional cost or compromises in the quality of our infrastructure.

“We need to see that the containers and materials we recycle are put to good use – and RPM Pipes are a great example of that.”


RPM facts

  • A single length of RPM pipes uses the equivalent of up to 5,000 milk bottles
  • For every 1 kilometre of RPM pipe laid, RPM recycles the equivalent of 8.3 million milk bottles
  • RPM Pipes have been manufactured by a family company in Lancaster in central Victoria for 22 years
  • Australians drink an average of around two litres of milk each per week. A single length of RPM 630 mm pipe is produced from the equivalent of about 5000 milk bottles.
  • If you laid 5,000 milk bottles end-to-end they would stretch about 1.3 km
  • RPM Pipes could be recycling the equivalent of 500,000 milk bottles each week if more Victorian projects acted to use recycled products first
  • RPM Pipes have been installed in farms, mining operations and earthworks projects around Australia for 22 years
  • RPM CIVIL pipes were granted Department of Transport approval for use beside roads in 2019
  • RPM have been used for a wide range of applications – as table bases for high-end corporate functions, animal troughs for Healesville Sanctuary, and as pipes in Antarctica