Cleanaway to recycle new Penrite product

Cleanaway have announced a partnership with oil company Penrite to recycle their new dispensing system.

The Penrite Enviro Box™ packaging and dispensing system is aiming to decrease packaging waste, boost bulk lubricant storage capacity, increase workplace safety and save money.

The product was unveiled at the Australian Automotive Aftermarket (AAA) Expo in Melbourne, where it received the Most Innovative New Packaging Award. The awards, presented for innovation and market leading product development, highlighted Penrite Oil Enviro Box™ for incorporating both functionality with sustainability in their product.

The lubricant is packaged in a bladder bag that is housed inside a recyclable cardboard box, as opposed to the traditional plastic drum.

Considering the many thousands of 20 litre plastic drums disposed of each year, the company estimates this will result in an 85 per cent reduction in landfill waste per unit produced.

“We’re excited to partner with Cleanaway to make sure that the bladder bags are responsibly collected and recycled, so the environmental impact of the use of plastic drums in the automotive industry can be mitigated”, said Toby Dymond, General Manager Penrite Oil.

“It is a great initiative for Penrite to take a proactive step in making package recycling widely accessible for the automotive industry,” Mark Smith, National Sales & Value Chain Manager for Cleanaway said.

“As an Australian-owned company with over 50 years’ experience supporting Australian businesses, we’re proud to offer this collection service to Penrite customers, helping workshops to reduce their waste and work towards making a sustainable future possible,” Mr Smith added.

Interested customers will be provided with a Cleanaway collection bin. The empty bags are then deposited into the bin and once the bags are ready for collection customers simply call Cleanaway on 13 13 39. Collection will start in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth before a later roll out to regional areas.

 

April / May 2017

Trident Plastics’ four-wheel bins

Trident Plastics, the largest custom moulder in South Australia, has launched a new range of Australian made four-wheel bins for commercial and multi-unit dwelling use. The new 660 and 1100-litre bins are made of injection moulded high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is UV stabilised to provide “excellent strength and durability”, as Trident explains, adding: “With our four- wheel bin range, we aim for excellent value for money in the same way that our two-wheel bins have become so popular in Australia and New Zealand in recent years.”

Featuring flat sides to enable pockets to be installed, as well as high quality wheels, two with locks, and noise reducing tyres, the new four-wheel range comes fully equipped and will be available in a whole range of colours for both body and lid.

Trident Plastics commenced manufacturing two- wheel bins in 2012 and has since increased its range each year. Now supplying 80, 100, 120, 140, 240 and 360-litre two-wheel bin sizes, the young company says the new four-wheel options further complete its portfolio.

All two and four-wheel bins are made under strict quality and environmental standards, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

www.tridentaustralia.com

February / March 2017

Work to be done

Mike Ritchie, MRA Consulting

Mike Ritchie from Sydney-based consulting firm MRA reflects on the importance of solid groundwork in the political realm to facilitate real change in waste management. 

Our waste problems are urgent. Waste is pouring out of the economy at a compound average growth rate of 6.3 per cent, and waste volumes double every 12 years. To tackle the issue, most Australian States and Territories have set ambitious recycling targets for 2020/21.

For Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), the diversion target is generally 65 to 70 per cent, except in the ACT where it’s 85 per cent. For commercial & industrial (C&I) waste, the target is higher still – typically ranging from 70 to 80 per cent. Except, again, for the ACT, where it’s 85 per cent. The highest targets, meanwhile,
are reserved for construction and demolition (C&D) waste, with most state targets ranging from 75 to 85 per cent.

These are big numbers, and it’s still a long way to go until we reach them – particularly for MSW, where new data shows that diversion rates need to increase by about 50 per cent to stay on track. But there is no alternative: The work we need to do is important and structural, even though it can be unexciting. It’s work that is unlikely to capture the public’s imagination in the same way as single use battery, coffee cups, CDs or light bulbs might be able to.

 Some say that the scheme’s that get people’s attention, that win environment awards, are worth every cent because they attract media attention and money, as well as political capital. They connect people to waste problems.
But the problem is that money and political capital are not unlimited. Connecting people to waste problems is fine, but it doesn’t build infrastructure or set realistic market prices. What you spend on one project is not available to another. So, can we really afford ‘puff projects’?

Back and forth

Plastic bags for recycling

According to not-for-profit organisation Planet Ark, eight out of 10 Australian councils report plastic bags as their biggest recycling problem. Are we any closer to implementing a comprehensive national ban?  

The debate around the banning of single-use plastic bags is all but new, yet continues to spark controversy on a global level. While Australia is still in the process of putting a national policy on the issue in place – South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory have established plastic bag bans, while NSW, Queensland and Victoria have all committed to investigating the introduction of a ban – the US is currently experiencing a concerning turnaround on the topic: Last month, Michigan became the fourth US state to place a ban on banning plastic bags, following the example of Idaho, Arizona and Missouri.

To put the development into perspective and explain just why back-pedaling is not an option, Peter McLean, Executive Officer at the Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA), summarises the state of play in Australia.

“AORA has held a long-term national policy on banning single-use plastic bags since 2015. We want to ensure that only Australian Standards (AI) certified compostable bags are exempt under any plastic bag legislation because they will break down under the parameters of a commercial composting facility.

Ensuring this very strict standard means that all other degradable, oxo- degradable and biodegradable plastic bags will also be banned, as there are no guarantees that these types of bags will break down under specific timeframes and not produce any residuals like micro-plastics.

The only fail-safe method with so much confusion about product claims in the marketplace is to use AS4736 for commercial composting and AS5810 for home composting. Even biodegradable bags need to be left aside, as biodegradable doesn’t always mean compostable. This is due to them not always meeting the Australian Standards in regards to time to decompose and complete biodegradation, which means they would have to leave zero residues other than some water, carbon dioxide and biomass.

This will also reduce the many deceptive statements currently in the marketplace, which allow manufacturers to use statements like ‘this product is degradable and breaks down when exposed to the environment’.

To read more, see page 52 of Issue 10. 

Making sustainability child’s play

A Melbourne-based company is combining puppet-making and trash to share the ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ message. 

When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for having been there.”

While Jim Henson’s famous saying may reflect a common-enough sentiment, but the incremental betterment of the world and humanity doesn’t usually cause puppets to spring to mind. For one Melbourne-based company, however, that is exactly what is entailed within its efforts to make the world a better place.

Jhess Knight worked within the local puppetry industry for the past five years before realising the joys of using recycled or reused materials. Alongside her good friend, Lucy Hedt, she has since developed the Trash Puppets initiative, which combines entertainment with education in the sustainability space.

“During my Master’s at the London School of Puppetry, we were encouraged to create mock-ups of our puppets. Quick and rough, a process that enabled us to see the design of our puppet and what the challenges might be,” explains Jhess. “Usually thrown together with basic materials such as newspaper or cardboard, I often found myself falling in love. Their simplicity was incredibly charming and made them even more magical when they came to life.”

The process of making Trash Puppets thus came about organically, and Jhess found the process to be therapeutic in its own right. “I knew this was something I wanted to share,” she says.

After having the idea suggested by a friend who works as a schoolteacher, Jhess and Lucy have gone on to create a profitable business in teaching kids to make puppets from rubbish – but it also has applications beyond the classroom.

To read more, see page 36 of Issue 10. 

Tying up loose ends

A New South Wales initiative is looking at how to recycle thousands of tonnes of textile waste – potentially creating a whole new business model along the way. 

The key to creating sustainable solutions to environmental problems is to build strong business cases around them. That is the approach Tom Davies and his team at Edge Environment took when they were tasked with finding an industrial solution to divert waste from landfill through the New South Wales Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Circulate program.

By engaging 1,000 medium-to-large enterprises, Circulate aims to divert some 160,000 tonnes of waste to landfill between 2014 and 2017 and generate $21 million in additional income or savings for those involved. The program is part of the NSW EPA’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, which uses funds from the waste levy to drive behaviour change, infrastructure investment and innovation in new resource recovery solutions.

As a starting point for the project, Davies and his team analysed a range of NSW commercial and industrial waste audits to determine the most significant material streams coming out of the State. “We’ve been working with a lot of large corporates as part of the process and a common issue proved to be workwear,” he says – adding that large companies go through hundreds of tonnes of workwear every year. “So we started investigating textiles as a waste.”

Textile as a waste

As part of his initial research, Davies found that NSW generates about 153,000 tonnes of textile waste per year – the whole of Australia produces about 375,000 tonnes – and most of that is going directly to landfill. Of that textile waste, a massive 64 per cent is corporate workwear, a ratio too big to ignore, as Davies points out: “You need to find a starting point.

“To us, it quickly became clear that point had to be corporate workwear – it’s a huge volume of manmade bres that could be turned into new products.”

Davies points to the iconic Australia Post organisation as an example for smart bre-recycling: “Australia Post had 200 tonnes of textiles as redundant stock that it had accumulated over two years, as it’s constantly evolving its uniforms. To address the problem, they teamed up with Dunlop and turned the waste into carpet underlay.”

While highly effective, the solution was a one-off only, Davies says: “What we were looking for was a long-term, self-sustaining solution. We roughly knew the breakdown of those materials, so it was obvious it was all valuable stuff that was ending up in landfill,” he explains.

Read the full story on page 26 of Issue 10. 

New directors for Sustainability Victoria

Three new Directors have been appointed to join the Sustainability Victoria executive leadership team.

Stan Krpan, Chief Executive Officer at Sustainability Victoria, welcomed the appointment of Katie Pahlow as Director of Communications and Marketing; Warren Overton as Director of Business and Built Environment; and Stephanie Ziersch as Director of Communities and Climate Change.

The new directors will lead the organisation through the next phase of the delivery of the SV2020 strategy – which focuses on working with the Victorian community to take action on climate change, energy, materials efficiency and waste.

“I’m pleased to announce that we have now filled these three important roles in our executive leadership team and continue to deliver our SV2020 strategy,” Mr Krpan said.

“We recognised that in order to maximise our impact and reach our communications and engagement functions, this required executive leadership.

“With a new structure in place, we can focus on the needs of key stakeholder groups, deliver new programs in climate change and energy, and maintain our leadership in statewide waste and resource recovery.

“We have also combined our waste planning and programs divisions which will be led by Jonathan Leake as Director. This new integrated division will focus on implementing the strategic direction of the SWRRIP and Victoria’s resource recovery strategies,” Mr Krpan said.

Carl Muller will continue in his role as Director of Corporate Services.

Katie Pahlow joins the team with a background in community engagement for the Governor of Victoria. Prior to that, Ms Pahlow served as Director of Communications at Zoos Victoria, bringing executive leadership on behaviour change campaigns, integrated marketing, brand building and customer focus. Her ‘Don’t Palm Us Off’ campaign about orangutans and the palm oil industry won the 2011 Banksia Award. Ms Pahlow has qualifications in zoology science and education.

Warren Overton leaves behind his role as Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Glass and Glazing Association where he played a key role in helping to develop the Green Star rating tool. He has extensive experience in government and consulting, and has delivered multi-million dollar sustainability programs at ANU. Mr Overton has qualifications in geological science and project management.

Stephanie Ziersch joins the team after previously working at the Department of Water, Environment and Natural Resources in South Australia where she served as Director of Climate Change Projects. She brings 20 years of experience in senior climate change leadership including developing South Australia’s Climate Adaptation Plan, low carbon strategy and stakeholder engagement. Ms Ziersch has qualifications in law, international law, and international relations.

Pictured: Stan Krpan, Chief Executive Officer at Sustainability Victoria.

Australian Landfill & Transfer Stations Awards announced

The Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA) has announced the winners of the 2017 National Landfill & Transfer Stations Innovation and Excellence Awards.

The awards showcase best practice in landfill and transfer stations, with the aim of commending exceptional sites.

The awards include the Transfer Stations Excellence Award, the Landfill Excellence Award and the Innovation Award.

In the area of Transfer Stations Excellence, Townsville Waste Services took the top spot for their Magnetic Island Transfer Station.

Located eight kilometres offshore from Townsville and within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area, Magnetic Island’s transfer station was designed to receive a range of domestic, organic and commercial waste for sorting and categorisation.

The construction of the transfer station has allowed the Picnic Bay Landfill to be closed at the public since March 7, 2016.

In the area of Landfill Excellence, Dulverton Waste Management (DWM) proved victorious. DWM is located near Latrobe in Tasmania’s north-west. The landfill, with a life of 70-plus years, has a detailed aftercare plan.

The DWM landfill was the region’s first to operate a landfill gas system to extract methane and assist in annual carbon abatement of approximately 10,000 tonnes CO2-e.

It also incorporates Tasmania’s largest compost facility, diverting more than 29 per cent of waste into high-quality compost certified to the voluntary Australian Standard for Composts, Soil Conditioners and Mulches.

Queensland’s Toowoomba Regional Council Waste service won the award for Innovation, after developing an automated facility which slowly reduced the time required for staff to manage the facility.

Systems integrated into Greater Toowoomba’s Waste Management Facility include electronic gates, digital CCTV, security and building management systems.