Hats Off to Hard Hat Recycling Scheme

June 21, 2022

OLD hard hats from Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) are being given a second life, with the Port saving the head protection from going to landfill.

Under Australian Standards, GPC is required to dispose of hard hats every three years.

Since March, the Port has been collecting the hard hats in a Zero Waste Box to save them from landfill.

Once a Zero Waste Box is full it is sent to recycling company TerraCycle who melt the plastic down and turn the hard hats into pellets that can be made into new products such as park benches and garden edging.

GPC CEO Craig Haymes said since GPC recently began recycling the hard hats more than 60 have been saved from landfill.

“Hard hats are an unavoidable waste for many organisations like GPC because of the safety requirement associated with the protection,” Mr Haymes said.

“They need to be replaced every three years as the quality of helmets deteriorate over time especially if they are in direct sunlight for long periods which can cause them to eventually shatter,” he said.

“We’re home to more than 750 employees who will all wear a hard hat at some point so recycling our hard hats is the best way to manage our waste instead of throwing them out.”

Mr Haymes said he hopes more organisations start recycling hard hats.

“Recycling hard hats also feeds into a circular economy to further minimise impacts from operations which is aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of Responsible Consumption and Production,” he said.

“Gladstone is home to some big industries, many of which use hard hats in their everyday work so it would be fantastic to see all hardhats being turned into something else after they reach their expiry date,”

“Our environment team were able to investigate a great solution for our hard hat waste and we’re really proud to be one of the first businesses in Gladstone to be recycling hard hats and hope it raises awareness and helps companies look at waste differently.”