Global food waste market to grow by six per cent

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The global food waste management market is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of six per cent and is projected to reach US $42.37 billion by 2022, according to a new report. 

The report estimates the market value of the industry at $31.71 billion. It pinpoints the primary factors driving the global food waste market as a need to reduce greenhouse emissions and increase the usage of organic waste for the production of animal feed and fertilisers.

A major barrier to projects, it notes, is landfill and incineration techniques causing adverse effects on the environment.

Fruit and vegetables, by waste type, is projected to grow at the highest compound annual growth rate during the forecast period, while the food service providers segment, by end user, has the highest growth. According to the report, the North American region will hold the largest market by 2022 and generates a major amount of the total world’s food waste.

Internationally, the key players in the food waste management market include:
• Veolia Environnement (France)
• SUEZ (France)
• Waste Management, Inc. (US)
• Republic Services, Inc. (US)
• Stericycle, Inc. (US)
• Covanta Holding Corporation (US)
• Advanced Disposal Services, Inc. (US)
• REMONDIS SE & Co. KG (Germany)
• Waste Connections, Inc. (Canada)
• Clean Harbors, Inc. (US)
• Biffa Group Limited (UK)
• Rumpke Consolidated Companies, Inc. (US)
• Advance Disposable Services, Inc. (US)

 

$2 million boost for SA’s waste industry

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Sixteen projects have received government grants of $2.17 million to improve the infrastructure of South Australia’s waste industry, creating more than 48 new jobs.

Priority has been given to projects which recover materials banned from landfill, such as vegetative matter collected by councils and plastic packaging.

Some of the grants will fund equipment and systems such as:

  • Advanced sorting equipment/system or technology to reduce processing residuals and increase the range of materials recovered
  • Equipment to remove contamination through automated systems for higher value compost and fertiliser products from organic waste processing;
  • Balers and other equipment to enable compacted materials to be more efficiently transported.

The $2.17 million in grants announced includes 16 projects with a total value of $8.79 million.

The funding, offered by Green Industries SA, is from a four-year $26 million investment of waste levy funds in programmes that will increase the capacity of recycling systems and reprocessing infrastructure, the management of household hazardous waste and innovative solutions for problematic waste.

“South Australians are great recyclers and our state continues to lead the country in resource recovery and waste diversion, achieving the highest diversion rate in Australia,” Environment Minister Ian Hunter said.

Projects funded:

Local Government

Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority – $150,000 for in-vessel composting on Kangaroo IsIand
Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority – $83,500 for an autobaler on Kangaroo Island
Mid Murray Council – $47,600 for a transfer station at Bowhill
District Council of Elliston – $70,000 for a Resource Recovery Centre at Elliston
District Council of Lower Eyre Peninsula – $32,250 for a mobile baler at Cummins transfer station
District Council of Streaky Bay – $16,600 for a salvage shed at the existing Streaky Bay transfer station

Private sector

Adelaide Hills Recycling – $150,000 for a ballistic separator (Strathalbyn)
Agricycling – $150,000 to improve recovery rates of agricultural plastics (Mallala)
Jeffries Group – $272,500 for an organics granulating fertiliser project (Buckland Park)
Peats Group Ltd – $150,000 for recovery of organics from packaged waste (Langhorne Creek)
Peats Group Ltd – $300,000 resource recovery facility for Upper Spencer Gulf (Port Augusta)
Polybags Pty Ltd – $145,000 for Bio Plastics manufacturing in SA (Netley)
Reclaim PV – $79,000 for a pyrolysis furnace to recycle photovoltaic panels (Dudley Park)
SA Group Enterprises – $150,000 for e-waste and mattress recycling (Underdale)
Trident Plastics – $150,000 for a plastic recycling and palletisation plant (Kilburn)
VISY Recycling – $225,000 for optimised glass recovery and recycling (Wingfield)

TCA Weigh-in-Motion Forum a success

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Transport Certification Australia (TCA) has deemed its Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) Forum a success, with over 70 delegates in attendance.

“Attendees included road managers, policy makers, regulators, researchers, transport operators, WIM suppliers, On-Board (OBM) suppliers and telematics providers,” said TCA Chief Executive Officer and President of the International Society for Weigh-In-Motion (ISWIM), Chris Koniditsiotis.

The Forum explored how mass data is being collected from a variety of in-road and in-vehicle systems, the growing dependence on mass information for infrastructure management, maintenance and investment planning, and compliance management, and how WIM and OBM systems are being used to support productivity and safety reforms.

Speakers from Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland, New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services, VicRoads, Austroads, the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) and the National Transport Commission (NTC) delivered presentations, highlighting the diversity of the theme.

The common theme from the Forum was that mass data has multiple sources, and multiple uses, and how a standardised approach for the collection and exchange of data can further optimise road infrastructure utilisation and planning, TCA said.

The Forum also reportedly highlighted how On-Board Mass (OBM) Systems are driving improved productivity outcomes for heavy vehicle freight, following the recent release of the Australian Standard for Bridge Design Loads (AS 5100.2:2017).

“The bridge design standard specifically recognises how the use of OBM Systems, when used with the Intelligent Access Program (IAP), allows infrastructure managers to reduce load factors for bridges,” Koniditsiotis said.

“By having a better understanding of vehicle loads (through OBM Systems) and the number of vehicle movements (through the IAP), bridges are now effectively being ‘re-engineered’ for higher mass loads, without capital investment or maintenance expenditure.”

Forum participants developed a shortlist of initiatives to progress the use of WIM and OBM technologies, TCA said.

“A strong theme from the Forum was the need to have national standardisation of data and interoperability of mass data, to support the growing use of data for the compliance management functions by regulators and road managers, but also planners, pavements and bridge engineers, policy analysts, and transport operators – and more beyond,” Koniditsiotis said.

“A summary of actionable items will be published, and will form the basis of collaborative work programs to potential partner organisations, beneficiaries.”

SUEZ signs up to Waste of Origin Pledge

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SUEZ, one of Australia’s largest waste and water management companies, has become one of two companies to commit to the newly-established Waste of Origin Pledge.

The pledge was launched by the Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA) on Friday to challenge the waste industry to join the fight against irresponsible, dangerous and environmentally damaging practices in the sector.

According to WMAA’s website, SUEZ has joined REMONDIS in making the pledge.

In the pledge, WMAA says its members wish to see improved standards across the sector, including waste reduction and recycling, with disposal to landfill considered a last resort.

WMAA said it supports the application of a waste hierarchy and the development of an economy in Australia that promotes the best use of our resources.

“However, this development is being undermined by the lack of harmonisation of waste management regulation and enforcement between Australian states and territories,” the pledge reads.

“WMAA calls for shared responsibility between government, industry and the community to solve this issue. The WMAA recognises that attempts are being made by state governments to address the issue of interstate transportation of waste. But it is simply taking too long.”

WMAA is challenging waste generators and all those within the waste management sector associated with landfill levy avoidance through long distance waste transport to immediately sign the pledge.

In Australia and around the world, SUEZ said that it is committed to and provides sustainable resource management. This includes investing in a circular economy, and making significant efforts to recycle waste materials, leading to lower resource costs and less greenhouse gas emissions.

SUEZ believes that Australian companies which produce substantial amounts of waste should have confidence that their waste is being reduced and recycled, with landfill disposed achieved at the lowest environmental impact where possible.

Mark Venhoek, CEO of SUEZ in Australia and New Zealand said transporting waste unnecessarily over many hundreds of kilometres was simply an absurd outcome.

SUEZ said it believes the sole motivation for moving all of this waste by road and rail is profit, rather than assisting the environment.

“There are 20,000 additional and unnecessary heavy truck movements on the Pacific Highway due to some organisations sending waste to Queensland to avoid the NSW waste levy.  That means increased emissions, congestion, and increased chances of spills. It also undermines investment in waste and recycling services in New South Wales,” Mr Venhoek said.

“We encourage others in the waste management sector to sign the Waste of Origin Pledge and encourage waste generators to ask where their waste is going and also consider their role in the responsible management of waste.”

“We also call on state and federal governments to work with the industry and harmonise laws across Australia to remove the perverse incentives to transport waste interstate.

“The Waste of Origin Pledge is about encouraging waste disposal as close to its point of origin and putting waste to good use,” Mr Venhoek added.

The pledge is open to all industry participants and stakeholders and will stay in force until 31 December, 2017. Read more about the Waste of Origin pledge on WMAA’s website. 

McGowan Government gives green light to bag ban

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Lightweight, single-use plastic shopping bags will be banned in Western Australia from July 1 next year.

The statewide ban will bring Western Australia into line with South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory which already have plastic bag bans in place. Queensland has also vowed to ban the bag from July 1, 2018.

Plastic bags make up a relatively small portion of solid waste and litter but can significantly harm marine wildlife and birds which can inadvertently eat or become entangled in plastic bag waste.

The WA government said its plastic bag ban has garnered widespread support across the local government sector in recent months and among major retailers which are some of the biggest suppliers of plastic shopping bags.

Major supermarkets Coles, Woolworths and IGA have indicated their intention to ban single-use plastic bags while some WA retailers – including Aldi and Bunnings – already support the ban by not offering single-use plastic bags to their customers.

“The community and the retail industry have already been working to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic bags for more than a decade,” WA Premier Mark McGowan said.

“The number of plastic bags used every year continues to grow and therefore it’s time for the State Government to act, in the absence of a national approach.

“There are alternatives to single-use plastics and we need to move beyond single-use items and promote sustainable futures for our children.”

“We will continue our efforts to reduce the amount of waste generated, prevent littering, increase material recovered from the waste stream, and reduce waste destined for landfill,” said Environment Minister Stephen Dawson.

REMONDIS acquires Waste Trans

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REMONDIS Australia has acquired liquid waste collection business Waste Trans.

Operated by AusWaste Environmental Pty Ltd, the acquisition took effect on September 8.

The acquisition significantly increases REMONDIS capability in the region, adding a fleet of 17 liquid waste collection vehicles to its Queensland operations. The move provides Waste Trans’ existing customers with access to REMONDIS’ well-established solid waste and recycling services in the region.

The transaction involves REMONDIS taking future responsibility of all client contracts and purchasing the majority of the organisation’s equipment and vehicles.

All employees have taken up positions with REMONDIS Australia including the management team, and REMONDIS will continue to operate the existing Waste Trans’ sites located at Staplyton and Tanawha.

 

 

Global forum to clean up the environment kicks off

Rubbish and litter illegally dumped in a forest

Up to 700 scientists, engineers, regulators and other environmental professionals from more than 20 countries have touched down in Melbourne for this year’s biennial CleanUp global forum.

Representatives from universities, government and industry will discuss all aspects of contaminated site assessment, management and remediation.

Delegates will discuss some of the most pressing environmental problems facing the world today, including chemical weapons, climate change, asbestos, and per-and poly- fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS, found in some firefighting foams, have gained recent attention for contaminating areas in and around fire-training facilities worldwide. The Victorian Environment Protection Authority is leading investigations into environmental contamination of PFAS at a number of sites statewide and around Australia.

In one of the discussions, technologies that have been pioneered for medicine have been adapted for environmental clean up.

Visiting US researcher Dora Taggart, President of Microbial Insights, has conducted research into microorganisms, which looks at the bacterium behind disease of fermentation.

She said that probing changes in the nuclei of microbes can identify the best microbes for the task and how well they are performing.

“In laboratories, we use molecular biological tools – a range of laboratory analyses – to evaluate biodegradation potential of microbes and microbial activity at contaminated sites,” said Ms Dora Taggart, President of Microbial Insights.

‘The microbes – bacteria and fungi – are typically already present in the soil, or we can add them. But you need the right conditions in order to ensure that the microbes survive, you need to ensure that the chemistry is right.

“Often, adding electron acceptors such as oxygen, or electron donors or changing the acidity allows nature to take over and the naturally occurring organisms will be stimulated and start to degrade the contaminants of concern.”

Researchers pioneered “green remediation” in the 1990s to remove pollution from groundwater. The technique proved to be effective at destroying a range of chlorinated solvents.

“Bioremediation works well for many pollutants. Microbes will degrade chlorinated hydrocarbons from dry cleaning solvents, degreasers, gasoline and diesel products,” she said.

“We don’t know if there are any bacteria or fungi that will work with PFAS. I’d be surprised if we can’t find something that will biograde these compounds. But at the moment we don’t know the organisms or the pathways.”

The biennial CleanUp Conference runs from 10–14 September 2017 at the Crown Melbourne.

The conference program is available at www.cleanupconference.com/program.