Lithium Australia increases stake in Envirostream

Lithium Australia has invested a further $100,000 in Envirostream Australia, increasing its equity from 18.9 to 23.9 per cent.

According to a Lithium Australia statement, the investment significantly enhances the company’s exposure to the process of collecting and separating spent lithium-ion batteries, a fundamental precursor to battery chemical recycling.

“Lithium Australia has already, at a laboratory scale, successfully recovered metals from separated batteries, used the lithium retrieved to regenerate cathode materials and, from those materials, manufactured coin-cell lithium-ion batteries,” the statement reads.

Lithium Australia Managing Director Arian Griffin said Envirostream is the only company in Australia with the integrated capacity to collect, sort, shred and separate all the components of lithium-ion batteries.

“Lithium Australia’s expanded equity in Envirostream, and acceleration of its research and development program, both anticipate the restructuring of the recycling business to best amalgamate the capabilities of both Lithium Australia and Envirostream,” Mr Griffin said.

“Envirostream’s infrastructure is essential to developing an environmentally responsible solution to the mounting problems spent lithium-ion batteries represent.”

Mr Griffin said by recycling spent lithium-ion batteries, Lithium Australia hopes to meet the ethical, social and governance standards that Australian’s have come to expect.

“The world’s capacity to deal with climate change is also bolstered by the resulting improvements in resource sustainability and reductions in the environmental footprint of portable power,” Mr Griffin said.

“Our further investment in recycling in general, and Envirostream in particular, therefore represents a tremendous opportunity for the company.”

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Waste Expo returns October 23

Waste Expo Australia, one of the most comprehensive free-to-attend conferences for the waste management, resource recovery and wastewater sectors, returns to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 23-24 October.

Waste Expo Australia Event Director Cory McCarrick said the event, featuring over 100 speakers, will provide the perfect think tank for navigating upcoming opportunities.

“On Wednesday in Melbourne, Waste Expo Australia 2019 will open its doors at one of the most significant times in history, attracting the largest gathering of waste management and resource professionals in Australia,” Mr McCarrick said. 

According to Mr McCarrick, Australia’s recent pledge to change and improve its recycling habits provides significant new opportunities for businesses in the waste and recycling industry.

“The government’s focus on improving recycling habits, particularly with plastic use, shows there will be significant environmental implications as to how businesses will need to be run into the future,” Mr McCarrick said.

The event will be opened by Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, leading a long list of industry professionals looking to discuss, question and examine Australia’s waste management processes, while also seeing the latest product innovations from over 120 brands in the supplier showcase.

Key exhibitors include Bost Group, Cleanaway, Caterpillar, HSR Southern Cross, Tricon Equipment, Applied Machinery and Hitachi.

Mr McCarrick said Waste Expo has grown significantly since 2018, and it is now a must-attend event for anyone in the waste and recycling industry.

“It is clear the push across all levels of government has put waste and recycling to the front of minds, and Waste Expo Australia will challenge current thinking and push boundaries of innovation to enable all businesses to examine their own operations, speak to suppliers and take on high-level information, all for free,” Mr McCarrick said. 

Heading up the Wastewater Summit stage on day one, Water Corporation Senior Technical Advisor Membrane Treatment Stacey Hamilton will outline the steps taken by Perth’s Water Corporation to establish Australia’s first groundwater replenishment scheme. 

“As Australia’s first scheme, developing the regulatory framework, understanding the technical challenges and keeping the community engaged are all part of keeping the scheme compliant,” Dr Hamilton said.

“The key message from the presentation will be the journey taken by the corporation to get where we are. Getting other utilities educated on the process and journey is important.”

Also on day one, Aerofloat Manager of Operations Michael Anderson will detail compact trade waste solutions and explain how washing with treated reclaimed water helps achieve high quality recycled products.

“Australia’s low water resources and environmental regulations means that any plastic recycling business must have an effective and reliable wash-water recycling system in place,” Mr Anderson said.

At the Wastwater Summit, Mr Anderson will provide delegates with a good understanding of the opportunities for plastic recycling, and highlight where businesses fit within Australia’s current political and environmental requirements.

“Attendees will see solutions that enable wash-water recycling to be used year-round, not just as a short-term fix within their plant,” Mr Anderson said.

Waste Expo Australia is co-location with All-Energy Australia, Energy Efficiency Expo and ISSA Cleaning and Hygiene Expo, forming the nation’s most significant showcase for the waste, recycling, wastewater, renewable energy, energy efficiency and cleaning industries.

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The state of waste: Dr Gillian Sparkes

Waste Management Review talks to Dr. Gillian Sparkes, Victoria’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, about the 2018 State of the Environment Report.

Victoria’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability Act 2003 includes a statutory requirement that the Commissioner prepare and submit a periodical report measuring environmental indicators across the state, at intervals not exceeding five years.

According to Dr. Gillian Sparkes, Victoria’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, the report functions as an environmental score card with recommendations for improvement. She adds that the report’s legislative authority means government must formally respond to recommendations.

The State of the Environment 2018 Report (SoE) was released in March of this year and Waste Management Review spoke to Gillian in September.

Gillian has served as Victoria’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability since 2014, leading reforms in environmental monitoring, assessment and reporting.

“Science has played a pivotal role in my life. It is the foundation on which I built my career and pursued my passions; helping others, solving problems, delivering change in complex environments and resolving difficult issues,” Gillian says.

According to Gillian, the SoE provides community with access to previously unavailable baseline science. It is also the first time the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been comprehensively applied to state level environmental reporting
in Australia.

The SDGs function as a roadmap towards sustainable development by offering a consensus framework against which progress is measured.

Gillian says the framework allows her team to measure improvement and decline across a broader socio-economic suite of indicators than traditional biophysical SoE reports. She adds that this information can be used to compare Victoria’s performance with other jurisdictions.

“This allows us to understand the entire system and see the balance between environmental, social and economic considerations,” she says.

“My team and I are now preparing the framework for the SoE 2023. It will build on the scientific baseline and SDG alignment presented in the SoE 2018. The framework for the SoE 2023 report will be tabled in the Victorian parliament in 2020.”

According to Gillian, the SoE 2018 also introduces the UN System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA) into state-level environmental reporting for the first time, with a focus on the contribution and benefit of ecosystem services to Victoria’s $400 billion economy.

“SEEA will allow us to have broader conversations with government, business and industry,” Gillian says.

“A national waste account is a priority for the national set of Environmental-Economic accounts and is under development by the Meeting of Environment Ministers.”

DATA GAPS

The SoE highlights the significance of waste and resource recovery in the integrated environmental system, noting it has the power to deplete natural resources, create pollution, increase greenhouse gas emissions and affect human health.

As such, resource recovery must be a key element of any systematic response to environmental challenges and emerging global megatrends such as climate change, disruptive technologies and natural resource constraints.

Gillian says while waste and resource recovery data is more substantive than in some sectors, public reporting that matches her office’s aspirations for monitoring and understanding the circularity of Victoria’s economy, or the health of the waste and resource recovery system as a whole, is limited.

“The SoE identifies a need to develop indicators that track the overall health of the resource recovery system including markets, not just to rely on current metrics such as tonnes of waste generated, tonnes sent to landfill, or tonnes recycled,” she says.

“We have good data on total waste generation and municipal waste per capita, but the data on litter and illegal dumping is poor and on hazardous waste is only fair.”

Additionally, Victoria has not yet agreed on indicators to track the circular economy transition, according to the report.

“We need to strive for more real-time data for regulators and managers, and the participation of citizen scientists in the data acquisition processes of government,” Gillian says.

“A circular economy will challenge our assumptions and we must ensure that we have the right data. It’s about knowing what we need to know, when we need to know it.”

TRANSITION

Earlier this year, the Victorian Government opened its draft Victorian Circular Economy Policy for public comment.

According to the official document, the policy aims to redefine growth by decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources and design waste out of the system.

The document also highlights durable product design to incentivise reuse and repair and share economy business models. An action plan and official policy document are set for release in 2020.

“This shift reflects the pathway Victoria has already identified to improve outcomes from this sector, and the metrics and recommendations of the 2018 SoE support this decision,” Gillian says.

“Circular economy indicators will be developed in line with the policy to enable expanded reporting beyond the linear system, monitor the operation and circularity of Victoria’s waste and resource recovery system and track progress of the transition. Good data enables good decision making.”

The SoE recommends a transition pathway through community and business engagement with whole-of-government buy-in.

“A circular economy cannot focus only on waste and recycling if it is to drive change in the way people consume resources,” the report states.

“It needs to encompass all aspects of the resources cycle, including resource extraction, imports, consumer behaviour, markets development and enabling procurement policies across the private and public sectors.”

Gillian advises that the state government align its instructional planning and procurement processes, to support the delivery of the proposed policy.

“The size of the task ahead can’t be underestimated, and will require continued and diverse investment in the sector including research and development, technology, infrastructure, plant and equipment, consumer education, new markets for recycled products and the development and enforcement of appropriate regulatory regimes,” she explains.

Gillian says continuing to advocate for a national approach to waste and resource recovery is fundamental to the transition.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The SoE also recommends that Sustainability Victoria (SV) develop indicators for the Statewide
Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan and Regional Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan.

“From July 2020, I have recommended that SV expand its monitoring and reporting framework to track the progress of strategy implementation and publicly report, at least annually, on Victoria’s transition to a circular economy – plus investment in long-term, state-wide community education to improve outcomes for this sector,” Gillian says.

“The government will formally respond to these recommendations by March 2020, and SV will be represented in that response.”

Additionally, the SoE recommends the Victorian Government, commencing in the metropolitan region as a minimum, align institutional planning and procurement processes, including leveraging Victorian Government Procurement.

Gillian says the model could be extended to environmental outcomes, such as specifying a recycled material content requirement for government projects.

“This alignment would be adopted state-wide and enable an orderly transition to a circular economy by 2030,” she says.

The SoE also notes that when developing the policy action plan, the roles of all agencies should be clarified, with responsibilities for delivery, procurement, reporting and regulatory roles nominated.

Gillian adds that government procurement could be used as an activator for circular outcomes.

“For example, the former Victorian Industry Participation Policy, now known as the Local Jobs First Policy, requires companies to use a specified amount of local content to participate in Victorian government tenders,” Gillian says.

“To achieve our ambition to move away from 20th century take, make, waste business models, innovation and leadership from the private sector is key.”

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NSW EPA opens MWOO consultation

EPA Chief Environmental Regulator Mark Gifford says the EPA does not intend to amend its MWOO revocation, or allow the material to be used as a soil amendment on agricultural, mining rehabilitation or forestry land.

“The research undertaken on MWOO has been extensive, including an assessment of human health and ecological risks when applied as a soil amendment and advice from scientific experts,” Mr Gifford said.

“The research clearly shows that the potential risks outweigh the limited benefits of applying MWOO on agricultural land, given the levels of contamination left behind such as glass and plastics, as well as metals and chemicals.”

The NSW EPA is seeking feedback on the future use of mixed waste organic outputs (MWOO), and a proposed transition package to support the alternative waste treatment (AWT) industry transition.

The proposed transition package follows the EPA’s October 2018 revocation of the general and specific Resource Recovery Order and Resource Recovery Exemption for the application of MWOO.

Mr Gifford said the NSW Government’s proposed $6.5 million transition package is designed to help industry consider and develop new sustainable solutions to manage general household waste.

“This is just the first step in considering new and future uses for general household waste, with significant work underway to improve the management of waste in NSW through the development of a 20 Year Waste Strategy,” Mr Gifford said.

“The $6.5 million package includes funding for AWT operators to undertake research and development into alternative products and end markets for household general waste, and to make the required changes to their facilities to produce products, such as refuse derived fuel or other innovative new uses.”

Mr Gifford said funding is available to introduce food organics and garden organics (FOGO) processing lines at AWT facilities.

“More than 40 NSW councils are already providing FOGO kerbside collections to households, or food only collections as sustainable alternatives in managing general household waste,” Mr Gifford said.

“The NSW Government is also extending existing funding to minimise the risk of disruption to kerbside collection services and ensure that any additional transport and landfill costs are not passed on to councils or ratepayers.”

According to Mr Gifford, NSW Health advised that they do not expect any adverse health effects as a result of past use of MWOO on agricultural land.

“The health risk assessment identified certain circumstances where exposure to chemicals could occur at levels that are higher than referenced doses, but these circumstances would be unusual and short lived,” Mr Gifford said.

According to Australian Council of Recycling CEO Pete Shmigel, if the NSW Government implements the EPA’s decision, waste to landfill or incineration will increase by roughly 25 per cent.

“It is hard to understand how an internationally proven product successfully used by local farmers and others for nearly 20 years – and which the NSW Government has previously said has no human health impact – can be banned,” Mr Shmigel said.

“While industry has been given no opportunity to see the report cited in today’s media, we were yesterday ‘confidentially’ briefed by the EPA that laboratory tests on our industry’s material were done at 10 times the actual permissible usage.”

Mr Shmigel said industry has on several occasions offered to develop and invest in new performance levels to address EPA concerns.

“That offer has been de facto rejected, or is now being dismissed as unachievable, without robust industry consultation,” Mr Shmigel said.

“Therefore, the prospect of an environmentally beneficial and economically sustainable way forward has been seemingly ruled out by the EPA, which is fully unproductive.”

In contrast, Total Environment Centre Executive Director Jeff Angel welcomed the EPA’s decision.

“This issue has been festering for over 10 years, when we and scientists first drew attention to the potential pollution from the toxic chemicals and plastics that was being applied as a so-called soil enhancer,” Mr Angel said.

“It’s now clear it was poisoning the environment and threatens human health. We don’t need this stuff spread across the environment, and better ways need to be found to reuse the resources.”

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VWMA to host industry site tours

The Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA) will be running three concurrent tours to showcase the waste and recycling industry on 25 October, as part of Waste Expo Australia.

Waste Expo Australia, one of the most comprehensive free-to-attend conferences for the waste management, resource recovery and wastewater sectors, returns to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 23-24 October.

The event is set to explore the future of waste and resource recovery in Australia, with a diverse schedule of speakers from local and state governments, industry bodies and the private sector.

VWMA Executive Officer Mark Smith said given the event’s focus, it made sense for the VWMA to come on board as a strategic partner.

“What better time to highlight the great work of our industry than during Waste Expo Australia,” Mr Smith said.

“This year will be a first for the Waste Expo Australia event, with the VWMA working with industry partners Alex Fraser, Australian Packaging and Covenant Organisation (APCO) and Australian Organic Recycling Association (AORA) to run three tours that will bring into focus the steps business is making to support Victoria’s recycling agenda and demonstrate circular economy in action.”

The event includes a construction and demolition tour, an organics and composting tour and a packaging supply chain tour.

The construction and demolition tour, sponsored by Alex Fraser, will include site visits to Bingo Industries West Melbourne Facility, a Level Crossing Removal Project site and the Western Ring Road construction site.

Alex Fraser Managing Director Peter Murphy said the tour will include an exclusive look at the workings of Alex Fraser’s new, awarding winning sustainable supply hub in Laverton, which was recently awarded the Sustainable Environment Award at the Victorian Transport Association’s 30th annual Australian Freight Industry Awards.

“The construction and demolition tour will take delegates along the journey that turns construction, demolition and kerbside waste into the high-quality, sustainable construction materials urgently needed to complete Victoria’s big build infrastructure projects,” Mr Murphy said.

AROA Victoria Admin Officer Doug Wilson said the Organics and Composting Tour will allow delegates to closely inspect significant infrastructure sites.

“At the very time when the state government is bringing the circular economy into focus, the organics tour will take delegates on an interactive experience with some of Melbourne’s most exciting and innovative organics recovery technology,” Mr Wilson said.

“Sites include South Melbourne Market’s dehydrator, Cleanaway’s depackaging facility, Sacyr’s new compost plant and Bio Gro’s comprehensive re-purposing operation.”

VWMA and APCO’s packaging tour is being delivered in partnership with Australian Food and Grocery Council and Australian Institute of Packaging.

“Industry is at a critical time where collaboration is essential to achieve the 2025 National Packaging Targets and to address challenges in the packaging supply chain,” Mr Smith.

“The tour that we’ve lined up takes delegates into the manufactures and re-manufactures working to make packaging more sustainable and driving demand for materials circualarity.”

For more information click here.

Additional activities taking place in and around Waste Expo include:

VTA / VWMA business forum on the new EPA

– Waste Expo Networking Drinks

VWMA CDS discussion dinner

– Keep Victoria Beautiful and Litter Enforcement Officer Network Meeting

Industry Tours

– All energy expo

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Researchers develop solar panel recycling solution

Researchers from Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials have found a way to extract silicon from discarded solar panels and repurpose it into nano-silicon for batteries, potentially eliminating the biggest barrier to photovoltaic cell recycling.

Material scientists Mokhlesur Rahman and Ying Chen, who lead the investigation, said silicon recovery is to key to repurposing discarded solar cells and will prevent the high-value waste from going to landfill.

“Although silicon semiconductors make up a relatively small part of solar panel cells, the material’s value is extremely high. Scientists have been looking for ways to repurpose the silicon for some time, and we believe this to be the missing piece of the puzzle,” Dr Rahman said.

According to the researchers, the average service life of a solar panel is between 15 to 25 years, with modelling suggesting that without silicon recycling there will be 1.5 million tonnes of solar panel waste in landfill by 2050.

“Silicon cells are the most important component of a solar panel, transferring the sun’s energy into electrons.  They’re also a high-value material being a chemical element and far too precious to end up as waste, which is why this finding is significant,” Prof Chen said.

“We can’t claim solar panels to be recyclable, in a circular economy sense, until scientists find a way to harvest and repurpose their most valuable components.”

According to Dr Rahman, repurposed silicon can be used to make high-energy anodes, the transporters that move electrons around inside a battery.

“Surprisingly, the recovered silicon seems to work the same way as commercial silicon does,” Dr Rahman said.

“Our preliminary investigation validates the concept of disassembling silicon-based photovoltaic panels, and repurposing the existing silicon into nano-silicon for the battery industry, creating huge potential as an alternative source for the sector.”

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APCO hosts inaugural single-use plastic packaging workshop

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has hosted Australia’s first national workshop dedicated to phasing out problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging.

The workshop, held in Adelaide, was coordinated by APCO as part of its work to deliver the 2025 National Packaging Targets, which include phasing out all problematic and unnecessary single use plastic packaging in Australia by 2025.

According to APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly, the workshop focused on understanding national policy approaches and the role of organisations within their supply chain, in an attempt to provide greater confidence that industry actions are aligned and compatible with government priorities.

“The session also assisted APCO in defining its program of work in this space for 2020,” Ms Donnelly said.

Heysen Member and Natural Resources Committee of Parliament Chair Josh Teague delivered the keynote address on behalf of South Australian Environment Minister David Speirs.

“It was fantastic to welcome Mr Teague to speak on behalf of Minister Speirs, a great advocate and champion for addressing problematic and unnecessary single use plastic packaging in Australia,” Ms Donnelly said. 

“It’s an honour to be part of this great collaborative effort here in the leading circular city of Adelaide, as we define a pathway forward for how we translate the current national policy work into tangible outcomes for our local communities.”

Workshop representatives included:

Industry: Coles Group, Woolworths Group, ALDI, IKEA, Qantas, Coca-Cola Amatil, McDonald’s, MARS Food, Biopak, Keep Cup and Carlton & United Breweries.  

Industry Associations: National Retail Association, South Australian Independent Retailers, Australian Food and Grocery Council and the Australian Organics Recycling Association.  

Government: Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy, Green Industries South Australia, Australian Local Government Association, Local Government Association of the Northern Territory, WA Local Government Association, WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, QLD Department of Environment and Science, East Waste, Local Government Association of the South Australia, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Community / Academia: University of Tasmania, Queensland University of Technology School of Design, Loop Circular Economy Platform, Keep South Australia Beautiful and the Loop Circular Economy Platform.

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Pelletising polypropylene: Applied Machinery

Daniel Fisher, Applied Machinery Project Manager, wants to revive domestic plastic recycling through sustainable Polystar pellets. 

The recycling conversation is becoming more layered and complex by the day, with notoriously problematic plastic often taking centre stage. While the problem of plastic waste is widely understood, manufacturing processes still heavily rely on the material.

Daniel Fisher, Applied Machinery Project Manager, says responsibly processing plastic while keeping up with demand requires straightforward remanufacturing options. He adds that one such option is recycled plastic pellet production.

Daniel says to implement a wider uptake of recycled pellets in the manufacturing industry, resource recovery operators need simple-to-use equipment.

“When dealing with a difficult waste stream such as plastic, it’s common for operators to think that a more complex system will perform better,” Daniel says.

“But as the exclusive Australian distributor of Polystar Machinery, Applied Machinery is committed to supplying customers with straight forward and cost-effective solutions.”

Applied Machinery has worked with the Taiwan-based recycling equipment manufacturer for four years.

Polystar manufactures a range of one-step machines designed to reprocess multiple waste streams, notably polyethylene and polypropylene flexible packaging material.

Polystar technology is designed to be simple to operate and easy to maintain.

“The recycled output result is high-quality plastic pellets that can be repurposed back into manufacturing straight away,” Daniel explains.

“The pellets save waste disposal costs by producing a saleable product, while also offering an alternative to raw material extraction.”

Applied Machinery can offer customers the full suite of Polystar products, including the Polystar HNT and the Polystar Repro-Flex.

“HNT machines are typically suited for flexible, post-industrial film and have the added benefit of being able to produce quality pellets from even the most heavily printed packaging material.”

Daniel says the Polystar Repro-Flex is suited to multiple recycling applications including plastic bags, film scraps, bubble wrap, shrink film and laminated film.

“Repro-Flex machines also work well for post-industrial film waste, as the system can process washed flakes, scraps and pre-crushed rigid plastic waste from injection and extrusion,” he adds.   

Both the HNT and Repro-Flex feature an integrated cutter compactor, which removes the need for pre-cutting.

“The cutter compactor, which generates frictional heat during the compacting process, also helps remove moisture from the material.”

According to Daniel, eliminating moisture is a particularly significant feature when generating recycled plastic pellets, as even minimal water can render a whole batch unusable.

Daniel says the integrated Polystar system also eliminates the need for separate crushers and the common problem of inconsistent feeding.

“The integration of the cutter compactor and extruder ensures extremely fast and stable feeding, as the tangentially connected extruder is continuously filled with pre-compacted material.”

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Ejecting for efficiency: Wastech Engineering

After Citywide developed an operational efficiency plan to boost productivity and payloads, It engaged Wastech Engineering for a new fleet fleet of Clearline Waste Transfer Trailers.

When the City of Melbourne announced it would fast-track the delivery of its Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy in early August, it illustrated a commitment to growing the state’s resource recovery capacity.

Similarly, the Victorian Government allocated $35 million to waste and resource recovery via the state budget in May. Both initiatives highlight a pledge to develop more efficient waste processing capabilities across the state.

Increasing productivity via efficient processes is a motivation shared by Melbourne City Council subsidiary Citywide, which recently revised its operational efficiency plan.   

Travis Martin, Citywide Commercial Waste Division Manager, says while investment in resource recovery facilities is critical, so too is streamlining operations at less glamorous but equally important waste transfer stations.

Being entrusted with the waste management of Victoria’s capital city, and the second largest in the country, highlights the scope and scale of Citywide’s operations. It similarly underscores the importance of finding the right equipment supplier.

Travis says to manage this scale, Citywide and Wastech Engineering developed a symbiotic relationship.

“Citywide and Wastech have worked together in many capacities over the years, with Wastech providing ongoing equipment maintenance and support at our transfer station and working with us in waste and recycling process innovation,” Travis says.

“In the most recent instance, we informed Wastech that we needed new waste transfer trailers to boost operations, and were directed to its Clearline range.”

Travis, who has worked in the waste industry for more than 30 years, says the Citywide Transfer Station and Resource Recovery Centre is the largest of its kind in Victoria, and one of the five largest in Australia.

“Located in West Melbourne, the centre provides waste management services to various local government and commercial clients, meaning effective transport arrangements are key,” Travis says.

“We process multiple waste streams at the facility, largely consisting of municipal waste, residential, commercial and industrial waste and multiple recycling streams such as paper, cardboard, steel and organics.”

According to Sustainability Victoria, over 12.8 million tonnes of waste was managed by the state’s waste and resource recovery system in 2017. In the same year, City of Melbourne residents generated 40,000 tonnes.

To keep up with accelerating service demands, Travis says Citywide recently developed and implemented an operational efficiency plan in order to lift productivity and payloads.

“With ever-increasing volumes of waste generated in and around Melbourne’s CBD – that needs to be processed through the Citywide transfer station – we needed to boost efficiency and invest in new operational and transport equipment,” Travis says.

“One facet of the plan was engaging Wastech for a new range of Clearline Waste Transfer Trailers, with an operational model of owner drivers and a drop and go system for productivity.”

Citywide already owned a number of Clearline trailers, but wanted to upgrade to the newer model. Travis says his previous experiences with Wastech made him confident the new trailer model would meet expectations and application requirements.

The Clearline Waste Transfer Trailer’s rolled wall body design provides durability and integral strength, which Travis says is critical to withstanding the high piercing forces present during compaction of industrial and commercial waste.

The trailer also incorporates the use of high-tensile steel plate in the body to reduce tare weight and increase payloads.

Citywide uses the Clearline trailers to transport waste from its central transfer station in West Melbourne to various landfill sites across the city.

“The Clearline’s smooth internal design, and hydraulic eject blade, safely and efficiently push the waste load out of the body at landfill,” Travis says.

“The full eject feature reduces each load by 20 minutes, equating to one extra load per shift.”

According to Travis, the Clearline trailers are fitted with Elphinstone weighing systems that provide 99 per cent weight accuracy. He adds that as the trailers are mass managed, the weighing systems can be used to full effect.

“The trailers have also reduced volumes at the transfer station, which makes the customer onsite experience quick and easy,” he says.

Wastech’s transfer trailers feature full cab controls to facilitate operator friendly conditions and heightened safety, as operators aren’t required to exit the vehicle when unloading.

“The previous Clearline Waste Transfer Trailer design was great, and worked well under harsh conditions, but the rear doors and hydraulic ejection of the new model really lifts ease of operations,” Travis says.

“As the last piece of Citywide’s operational efficiency plan, the delivery of Wastech’s trailers significantly increased our transfer station operations.”

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Dutch and Australian foundations sign circular economy MOU

The Holland Circular Hotspot Foundation and the National Circular Economy Hub, an initiative of Planet Ark, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop a new online tool that encourages recycling.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the presence of Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, Assistant Waste Reduction Minister Trevor Evans and Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp.

Planet Ark CEO Paul Klymenko said that under the agreement, the Holland Circular Hotspot will provide experience and knowledge to Planet Ark, with the aim of accelerating bilateral cooperation in the circular economy space.

“Planet Ark will promote dialogue and collaboration between Australian universities, businesses and governments to move Australia towards a circular economy,” Mr Klymenko said.

According to Mr Evans, the partnership will form the basis of future cooperation and knowledge sharing between Australia and the Netherlands on how to achieve a commercially-led circular economy transition.

The Circular Economy Hub will create an online marketplace to match buyers and sellers of waste resources.

“Having healthy markets for recycled goods and commodities avoids stockpiles of materials just growing and growing, which could then become a problem in itself,” Mr Evans said.

“With government, industry and communities working together to boost recycling, there is a tremendous opportunity to create a more sustainable future for Australia.”

Holland Circular Hotspot Foundation Director Freek van Eijk said the foundation hopes to accelerate the circular economy movement in Australia.

“European and Australian authorities agree that a new and circular model is needed, where resources are kept in use for as long as possible, have the maximum value extracted from them whilst in use, and are recovered and regenerated into new products at their end-of-life,” Mr van Eijk said.

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