Eileen Breen is at the forefront of efforts to create more sustainable NT businesses.

Story Kerry Sharp  Photos Bec Haycraft

As a self-proclaimed “tree hugger” from way back, Eileen Breen was supportive but never quite comfortable about the nature of her family’s NT civil construction and demolition business. The main bugbear was the waste that all went into landfill.

That changed in 2020 when Eileen’s husband Gerry took a stand to enact far-reaching environmental improvements to “turn waste into wealth”. The Breens’ Top End business, NTEX, now recycles a phenomenal 93% of its worksite waste, which finds new life in other products and developments.

“Since 2020, we have diverted and recycled 71,000 tonnes of concrete and asphalt waste that would otherwise have gone into landfill,” business strategist Eileen says. “That equates to 22,187 fully loaded Toyota troop carriers lined up end-to-end along nearly 100km of the Stuart Highway from Darwin to Adelaide River.”

Gerry’s initiative became the stimulus for the SustainAbility project that saw Eileen named the 2023 AgriFutures NT Rural Woman of the Year.

This story excerpt is from Issue #154

Outback Magazine: April/May 2024