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Environmental Recycling Australasia (ERA) prides itself on finding the treasure in our trash, and sharing the proceeds with those in need.

“We’re not just trying to educate people on how to recycle, but how to give back too,” said ERA Director, James Bartel.

“Otherwise, everything in our skip bins would go straight to landfill.

“A lot of these bins are hired out for deceased estates and it’s amazing what people will throw out,” he said.

“We’re a major partner with St Vincent de Paul and we send them close to a tonne of salvageable goods every week.”

ERA also uses a state-of-the-art wood-chipper that eats recycled timber, nails and all – and whatever woodchips they don’t sell are donated to struggling farmers, for use as road base or stall bedding for stock.

It’s this eye for cutting-edge machinery that led James to choose Isuzu’s FSR 850 for his philanthropic heavy lifting.

The company currently has three FSRs, and a fourth, 2016 model Isuzu will soon join the distinctive green-splashed fleet, bustling around Melbourne’s South East.

Each new truck requires a lifter strong enough to winch a fully-loaded skip and for this, James relies on Isuzu’s partnership with West Trans Equipment and Service.

“Isuzu deals with all of it. They send the cabin and tray over to West Trans and liaise with them throughout the whole process.

“The Isuzu dealers have been great throughout and the trucks are fantastic,” James said.

But he hasn’t always had such a smooth run with vehicles – the demands of the job are great and not every truck is up to the challenge.

“We had another Japanese brand before Isuzu and they just couldn’t cut it. They were unreliable and couldn’t handle the weight.

“Our trucks are taking very heavy loads and getting bashed around at the back – there’s a lot of weight up and down on the springs too.

“In our previous trucks, the springs were always bending and mechanics would tell us we needed to spend thousands of dollars modifying the trays, whereas the Isuzus never require any modifications.

“We might do 30-40 bins a day, so we need a truck that’s strong and really reliable. The Isuzus do the job with no issues at all,” James said.

The FSR 850 offers 176kW of power @ 2,400 rpm, with torque of 706Nm @1,450 rpm, and has the durability and adaptability to face the grind day in and day out.

This reliability is crucial to ERA, as carting skip bins brings enough challenges without James worrying if his trucks will operate to spec.

“Customers rarely put the bin in an obvious spot – it’s always back around a corner, touching the gate, and on a hill,” he said.

“And Melbourne’s going up, instead of out, so a lot of the time you’re working in an underground carpark at a 20 or 30 degree incline.

“That’ll test anyone’s driving skills, so Isuzu’s assisted hill start is a real help.

“When you have to back up driveways with bins, the reversing camera, amber lights and touch screen are really valuable.”

As well as making the driver’s life easier and more comfortable, these features provide important safety benefits. And safety is a key element when you’re dealing with the weight of a fully loaded skip bin.

“I think every driver’s experienced a chain breaking on a bin. There might be a bit of slack in the chain and someone pulls out in front of you. You brake, and the bin slides,” James said.

“Between Isuzu and the body builders they’ve put bin stoppers in to keep anything from flying into the cabin, as well as a strong cage between the cab and tray, so the drivers are nice and secure.

“The airbags and bullbar give added peace of mind too.”

With such high standards in place, ERA is able to get on with doing their bit to not only remove rubbish, but help save the planet too.

James is constantly evolving his business model – working with the Victorian Department of Sustainability, applying for grants and studying ways to improve his operations – all working towards the holy grail of 100% recyclability.

ERA currently operates at an impressive 92-93% recycle rate and their constant investment in smart machinery and innovation means they raise efficiency every year.

“We really want to be the leading waste company in the next five years,” James said.

“I don’t pay myself a big salary or anything like that. I truly believe that if I invest money back into the business, it will work for us – environmentally and financially – and in ten years, we’ll all be reaping the rewards.”

Isuzu is proud to be a part of ERA’s eco-friendly push – a relationship that looks set to continue well into a greener, brighter future.

“I certainly won’t be changing trucks anytime soon,” James said. 


For further information, please contact:
Jeff Birdseye
Isuzu Australia Limited
Phone: 03 9644 6666

For Isuzu Truck Releases and Photos:
Arkajon Communications
Phone: 03 9867 5611