News & Media

Thorntons Recycling Fight Against Waste With Isuzu Trucks

For over 40 years Thorntons Recycling has offered Adelaide’s residents a place to deposit recyclable materials such as bottles, cans and cardboard. Alongside South Australia’s introduction of its container deposit scheme in 1977, Thorntons has established itself in the recycling landscape and grown alongside the popular return and earn recycling scheme.

The scheme has seen South Australia achieve a return rate of 80 per cent in 2018 and over six billion containers deposited since 2005, alongside a shift in attitude towards recycling; in the state where containers only make up 2.9 per cent of landfill items, the scheme seems to have worked well, especially when compared to Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania that have between 14 and 26 per cent of landfill made up of beverage containers.

Having grown up in such an environment in South Australia, Thorntons Recycling co-owner Justin Castelluzzo and his business partner Daniel De Cianni have always recognised the positive impact recycling has on the community. And in this spirit, they’ve personally invested in the recycling landscape of the state; forging ahead with their acquisition of Thorntons, Justin and Daniel invested in an Isuzu NPR 75-190.

Complementing Thorntons’ services is their pick-up service—gone are the days where customers have to trudge down to the depot with their recycling. With Thorntons’ Isuzu NPR in their arsenal, going out to customers and picking up the recycling is made easy.

The pick-up service has opened up new doors for Thorntons, in part thanks to the business’s handy location, as well as their nifty NPR. Based in Thebarton, 5 kilometres from Adelaide’s CBD (and just across the road from their sister company Metro Waste), Thorntons has prime accessibility to the city’s pubs, hotels, nightclubs and sporting clubs—only some of the biggest producers of bottles and cans in the city.

Explaining their operating process Justin said, “When called upon, we’ll send out the NPR to pick up wheelie bins of containers, which will then be brought back to the facility to be processed.

“We don’t just do wheelie bins, however. The capacity of the bins we handle can get up to 1,100 litres, and when that happens, I make a call over to Metro Waste and get the FYJ 300-350 for the job.

“Once the containers have been delivered or dropped off back at Thorntons, the customer is paid 10 cents for each container deposited and the containers are then sorted into the different categories: amber glass, green glass, brown glass, clear glass, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, milk cartons, wine bottles… the list goes on.

“After being sorted, the different types of material get baled together and delivered for processing.

“South Australia remakes their glass into new bottles, while plastics and aluminium get exported and remade into cans and other plastic products,” Justin said.

At the heart of it, this process depends on their Isuzu trucks—the equipment relied on to collect recycling from consumers at the beginning of the cycle, and then at the end, these are the trucks tasked with transporting the sorted materials to the processing site.

Justin says the NPR—their trusty wheelie bin machine—doesn’t skip a beat after being recommended it by the team at North East Isuzu.
“We chose the model on recommendation 12 years ago, and it’s been such a good truck that we kept buying the same model!”

One of their favourite features of the Isuzu NPR 75-190 is the automated manual transmission (AMT), which makes the drive a lot more comfortable for Thorntons’ drivers, who are often caught in city traffic.

“The NPR has AMT, which makes driving 1,000 kilometres a week easier—and that’s 1,000 kilometres of stop-start city driving doing the last mile stuff.

“That’s a lot of driving in the city, and the compact size of the NPR makes our job smoother when we can easily navigate city streets,” Justin said.

And this is while boasting a GVM of 7.5 tonnes and a GCM of 11 tonnes, so hauling a truckload of recycling isn’t an issue for Thorntons.

Thorntons Recycling’s primary aim is to help reduce landfill waste in their local community, and at the same time reward those who do so through the return and earn recycling scheme.

This makes being able to rely on their truck paramount in their operations, so they can provide their recycling pick-up service without interruption, playing their part in keeping their community clean and reducing landfill waste.

“With our Isuzu truck we’ve never had an issue with downtime, thankfully,” Justin said.
“Our business operates to the standard it’s at now thanks to our collection service… we can keep our community of Adelaide clean thanks to it.

“So we need our truck to always be available, and it is.”